Bill (1999)

In my first year of high school, we studied Romeo and Juliet in English class.  I failed that class.  Not because I didn't understand the material, but because I was still exercising my no-homework, only-schoolwork philosophy at school.  It had sufficed to get me through middle school with passing—if not stellar—grades, but in some of my high school classes it wasn't enough.

My junior year I had to re-take freshman English.  At my school in Hawaii, they studied Romeo and Juliet in the first semester, so I went through the whole thing again.  Then, halfway through the year, I moved back to the mainland and began the second half of freshman English.  However, there they studied Romeo and Juliet in the second semester, so I had to learn about the Montagues and Capulets for a third time.  I became something of a high-school expert on Romeo and Juliet.

This piece that I'm sharing was an in-class "focus free write" assigned by my teacher.  We were to write about who we felt was at fault for the central tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.  Here's what I wrote:

In the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, I feel that blame lies in the author of the story, Bill Shakespeare. In the occupation of play writer, the job of Mr. Shakespeare is to create a play that is interesting to watch, has much action, tugs at the heart-strings, and is compelling.  To do so, and to include all of these elements, one must have many unhappy events such as the deaths of all the most compelling characters, the banishment of Romeo, and the almost impossible, but wanton love of Romeo & Juliet themselves.  All of these and many more "tragic" events are what makes the bulk of the story.

I think I planned on wrapping it all up with a recitation of my thesis that Shakespeare was to blame, but we weren't given a lot of time for these focus free writing assignments, so what you see is what you get.  As for a grade, I received a stamp with a laughing monkey.