One of the reasons we still read Shakespeare today is that the themes he uses are timeless. While the language can sometimes be difficult, and some of the story elements might seem strange to us, we can still relate to the things he wrote about today. Think about this as you read other works-- empathize with the characters, try to imagine what it would feel like to be in that situation, and relate it to challenges and events in your own life.
Did updating Shakespeare give you more insight into the play?
If you were to modernize the whole story, how might you do it? Where would you set it? Who would the characters be?
Romeo + Juliet, 1996 Dir. Baz Lurhmann