Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nerd Fight

Last night, my mother, aunt and I went to see the ballet version of Romeo and Juliet.  I was very excited, because I am currently teaching the play to my ninth graders in English, and was looking forward to the outside enrichment.  As we sat down in our seats, I opened the playbook and began to read the cast list and the description of the ballet. 

They had it all wrong.

*******************************NERD ALERT*************************************

To begin, they re-named the priest, Friar Laurence, Lorenzo.  Hu?  Then, as I read the scenes (there were two), I realized they had taken the events and moved them around, so they were no longer sequential.  In the ballet, Tybalt and Mercutio die before Romeo and Juliet even profess their love for one another!  Benvolio didn't exist at all in this version and both of the lovers die in Juliet's bedroom. 

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Had I been a normal person, all of these changes would have gone unnoticed.  However, I've taught the play for five years to five different classes.  You do the math; I'm an English teacher. 

I must have been rather vocal about my displeasure over the major changes, because the woman in front of me turned around just as I was commenting on how Mercutio does NOT make fun of Tybalt at the party.

"Yes, he does," she said.

For a moment, I was taken aback.  Was she challenging my knowledge of the play?  "Well," I said, "he does make fun of him, but not at the party."

"No," she said.  "You're wrong.  That is what the whole Queen Mab speech is about.  He is making fun of Tybalt." 

If you know me personally, you know that I do not like confrontation.  I don't think well on my feet, and would prefer to back down rather than get in a fight.  But I must confess, my blood was boiling for many reasons. 

***************************ANOTHER NERD ALERT*********************************
To begin, she is wrong.  The Queen Mab speech takes place in Act 1, and in the speech, Mercutio is talking about dreams.  In no way is he making fun of Tybalt.  Not at ALL.  He hasn't even encountered Tybalt yet.  That doesn't happen until Act 3.

This woman made another comment about how the Queen Mab speech leads to Mercutio's death.  At this point, I pointed out that the Queen Mab speech was in Act 1, but Mercutio doesn't die until Act 3, but then smiled and backed down.  She smirked and told me again that I was wrong. 

But I wasn't. 

She'll probably go home, look it up and realize that I was correct.  And why?

Because she'd tangled with a Book Nerd.

Beth - 1
Lady with Inaccurate Knowledge of Romeo and Juliet - 0


  1. I hate reading plays... I would never have picked up on that (well, maybe I would have - I loved the Leonardo DiCaprio movie version of Romeo & Juliet). But I do often pick up and get angry at movie adaptations of books and have been know to walk out of the theater in a tantrum b/c the movie took out the best parts! Does this count me in the Book Nerd Club?

  2. I think this should have come to fist-a-cuffs. That lady was disrespecting you. If I had been there it could have gotten real ugly..


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