WillPlay: Learning Resources

These Learning Resources are designed for both teacher and student use, in the classroom and at home. They are tied into learning objectives for GCSE English study of the play. Drawing on the student's experience of the completed WillPlay chat, each resource includes a task, an example student answer and an extension.

Love Task: Theme
'Some consequence yet hanging in the stars'

Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet begins with a Prologue that tells us Romeo and Juliet will fall in love and die; their Fate is sealed in that first 14-line sonnet. WillPlay's Romeo & Juliet begins in medias res (in the middle of things, once the plot has begun) but Fate remains an important theme.

Identify a message in your chat with Juliet which suggested that Fate, or a force beyond your control (or that of the characters), might have been playing a role in shaping the story.

Student Example:

Message: Juliet screen-grabs matching with Romeo on "StarCrossed".

Analysis: The algorithm of the online dating app is like a modern equivalent of Fate's role in the play, symbolised by the stars, a force that the lovers do not understand and cannot control. It brings them together despite all obstacles (like Juliet's set-up with Paris or Romeo's reluctance to go to the Capulet ball).

Extension: Were there any points in your chat with Juliet where you felt the WillPlay algorithm (or Fate) manipulating the conversation? Why do you think that was?