Shakespeare 400 by Ljiljana Radanov

Shakespeare’s Days

May brought distant reflections of renaissance to our school – as we decided to join the global activities marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death and to dedicate the whole month to them. The school corridors and the main hall flourished suddenly with all the richness of Shakespeare’s words. We could read his quotations everywhere. We could enjoy the students’ creative drawings and paintings of the scenes from his plays.

To remind ourselves of the customs of Shakespeare’s country, class 64 held an English tea party and invited their parents. We baked shortbread biscuits, made some tea and prepared a presentation with quotations from Shakespeare’s plays and each student has his or her own quotation to tell in both English and Serbian. We listened to English renaissance music.

The performance of “Romeo and Juliet” was the highlight of the month. Tens of students and several teachers had been working hard for weeks to achieve the perfection we saw on the stage. You didn’t have a sense of watching the students’ play – it was a work of professionals. Lovely girl Julia, cheerful Romeo, dignified Paris, nervous Tybalt and witty Nurse took our breath away, just like other young actors with their minor appearances on the scene. Their costumes, the scenery with Julia’s balcony all grown in red roses, the might of the music that accompanied each scene joyfully or dramatically, were all breath-taking.

The audience wept at the end, moved to the bottom of their heart with what was happening on the stage. The young actors sent a message to the world that a young actress, solemn young Shakespeare in person said in her perfect English:

“To be able to love, Romeo and Juliet had to die and Verona had to change in order to live. Because it has always been and it will always be that darkness cannot drive darkness away – only light can do that. Hatred cannot be driven away by hatred, only love can do that – only love because love is life and hatred is destruction. “

by Ljiljana Radanov, English teacher, Primary School “Branko Radičević” Šid