The Examining Life

Episode 13: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Welcome to "The Examining Life," a podcast of the Arts of Liberty Project. Hosted by Drs. Jeffrey Lehman and Andrew Seeley, the podcast covers both works from the Western tradition and contemporary events of interest. Lively, personal, and timely, "The Examining Life" contributes to the renewal of liberal education.

How do we understand and teach Shakespeare? In this episode, John Turrentine, teacher at St. Augustine Academy, joins Dr. Seeley to analyze Juliet’s speech in the famous balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet. They discuss ways to introduce Shakespeare to young children and describe their Shakespeare workshop at an elementary school.

About our guest - John Turrentine


Our guest for this episode is John Turrentine, a teacher at St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California and a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College (Class of 2016).

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Podcast Colloquy Excerpt

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, speech by Juliet from Act II Scene 2 (the “balcony scene”):

Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek

For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.

Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain deny

What I have spoke. But farewell compliment.

Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “Ay,”

And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear’st,

Thou mayst prove false. At lovers’ perjuries,

They say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,

If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.

Or, if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,

I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,

So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.

In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,

And therefore thou mayst think my havior light.

But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true

Than those that have more cunning to be strange.

I should have been more strange, I must confess,

But that thou overheard’st ere I was ware

My true-love passion. Therefore pardon me,

And not impute this yielding to light love,

Which the dark night hath so discoverèd.

Podcast Resources

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Marc Antony’s Funeral Oration

Read Marc Antony’s funeral oration from Act III Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar here. Better yet, see Charlton Heston perform it in the 1970 film here.

The Catalog of Ships from Book II of Homer’s Iliad

The catalog of ships in verses 484-760 of Book II of the Iliad gives you a sense of how something exciting to hear can be dull to read. Find Book II of the Iliad here.