Presentation Makes Up For Lack Of Substance - Melanie Passaretti

Part 1: A Criticism of Those Who Wrote in Iambs


O sing in me great one who dares to write

About the world abound and facts of life,

Not of the problems of a common man

But those who cower to Fate's faithful hand.

Though an Elizabethan poet might

Tell you in rhyme that there is wrong and right

That words must fall exactly in a beat

And rhythms running smoothly must be neat

The modern reader does not seem to care

In fact the verse can augment young despair

For verses in iambs, five times a line,

Will shift the order words naturally find.

In schools, the students, they will all complain

That writing so produces unfair pain

That writing like the aforementioned Brit

Will bring no knowledge, nor no lasting wit.

A typical teen drama at its best

Should not hold up to nature’s artful test.

A work of art, as called by those who teach

Less learned men to whom they often preach,

Proves not to be as grand and teachers claim

When students realize how "art" causes pain.

The tale of Romeo and Juliet,

One of these arts in which much time is spent,

Does not do justice to our sacred bards,

If the Ancients read it, they would be scarred.

Virgil tells a tale of war and fame

Lord Byron, Milton, Homer just the same.

But Shakespeare, though a poet, only writes

About the people who don’t take advice.

Their problems, though their own, have come to be

Because of characters’ stupidity.

Misguided are ones who think this tale great.

More truthful are the ones who claim their hate.

More often than not it stays on the shelf

But, pick it up and read it for yourself.


Part 2: Romeo and Juliet [abridged]



            Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,

            prepare yourselves to hear an epic tale!

            It is full of twists and turns!

            You will be captivated by the surprising plot!

            (But first, let’s hear the plot outline so that you will be prepared for the plot twists…)

I. Basketball court, where Romeo and Mercutio are casually shooting hoops


            “This is Mercutio, heading up to the net. He shoots. He scores. GOOALLLL!”

            “Seriously Mercutio, this is the fifth time. Do you even know how to play basketball?”

            Mercutio dribbles the ball a couple of times

            “You know what will cheer you up?”

            “Nah bro. You need to go get yourself some ladies. I’ll tell you what. Tonight, you, me, some girls, all in the hottest club in townnnnnnnnn.”

            “I’m pretty sure the only thing you’re worse at than basketball is picking up girls.”

            “Oh come on, Rome. It’s just one night. I promise it’s gonna go down in history.”

            “Okay, fine. But if I go with you, then you’re paying.”



II. The Blackrose, a nightclub in downtown Verona


“Romeo. Romeo, dude, you gotta check out dat Capulet chick.”

“What no way. She’s like… 12. Ew. Gross.” Romeo scoffed at his friend’s suggestion but proceeded to “check out dat Capulet chick” anyway.



[A Text Message Conversation, recovered from the phones of R. Montague and J. Capulet, both deceased]


Juliet: where r u?

Juliet: babeeeeee. where r uuu?

Romeo: srry Jules i was just breaking into your property

Juliet: omg so romantic

Romeo: hang on gonna hop dis fence

Romeo: in your garden. Just landed in a freakin bush. couple of scratches but i think im mostly ok

Juliet: omg so manly omg

Juliet: come closer

Romeo: i’m under the balcony

Romeo: am i your boyfriend now?

Juliet: no come closer

Romeo: k

Romeo: climbing up the wall

Romeo: yo can i be your boyfriend

Juliet: not yet. come closer

Romeo: kk. i think i can reach the balcony railing

Romeo: shit im gonna fall

Romeo: help me plz

Romeo: yo Juliet?

Romeo: can i hav your hand?

Romeo: dat’s a nice hand

Juliet: omg its totally like hand kisses :-*

Romeo: ;)



“Oh my god mom, just stop.” Juliet pulled her hair in front of her face, doing her best to hide the tears just emerging from the corners of her eyes. “You don’t understand me. How could you? You and Pa only care about yourselves.”

“Shh calm down, honey. He’s only a boy.” Mrs. Capulet reached out to squeeze her daughter’s shoulder, but her hand only nicked the corner of her girl’s sweater and eventually settled for grasping thin air.

Juliet, aggressively blowing her bangs away from her face, was now belly-up on the floor, and completely intent on avoiding eye contact with her mother. Mrs. Capulet thought her daughter had remarkable resemblance to a beached whale, the kind that they would show on the news: an insignificant blob of flesh being treated like the most important thing in the world, a big deal of nothing.

“You know there are plenty of other eligible boys… ones who would certainly be much more satisfactory to your father and I….”

“Are you talking about Paris? Oh my god. No. Like just no. Why? Like really, Paris? He’s not even that cute like honestly why would you expect me to like him. And he’s like weird….”

“Juliet, stop fussing. Once you get to know hi--”

“But like oh my god he’s named “Paris.” “PARIS.” Like is that his real name? Ugh. Who the hell names their child after a city. Like whatever. I hate him. You can’t control me, mom. I’m gonna do what I want.”


V. [Another Text Message Conversation, recovered from the phones of R. Montague and J. Capulet, both deceased]


Juliet: ugh I hate my parents they dont let me do anythg

Romeo: babe you ok?

Juliet: yeah whatevs im fine. i dont need their permission to have a love life.

Juliet: i can do what i want an like if i wanna date you im goin do that

Juliet: like you know what i could just like even marry you like yeah like i think we should just like get married now or like something

Romeo: k

Juliet: suck it ma i dont care

Romeo: you go girl

Juliet: fri law says he can meet us is vegas

Romeo: wooooo vegas babyyyy

Romeo: how r u gonna sneak out?

Juliet: idk i’ll figure something out

Juliet: yo imma fake my death [error 22138: message not delievered]

Romeo: Juliet, i’ll love you forev. ur my one true love. i miss you so much but now you gone and i cant like do things with you anymor cause your ded. i feel like im like a flower and it was summer but now its not summer anymore and its like cold and winter and stuff and now im dyin. goodbye my sweet rose. ill c u in heavin


Part 3: A Criticism of Those Who Wrote in Iambs cont.


Though daily life of teens can seem quite plain

This masterpiece has merit all the same.

Something that has lasted so well preserved

Is ultimately treated how deserved.

This petty drama masked by lyric words

Turns to something that is worth being heard

His story small is gilded with his verse

Which transcends all the common texts so terse.

Though the plot’s prosaic, it has worth

For poetry, to grand art can give birth.

Shakespeare, a bard, a writer, and a man:

Crafting essays, with a pen in hand

He yields a power small, yet power vast

For one small stroke of pen may even last

Through times of sorrow and times of pain

The laughter of a play show’s what’s to gain,

And through such loss we find our tragedy.

The world’s a stage, we play for all to see.

Even the smallest things in life seem grand

when we put a pen in a master’s hand.