• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast the different ways in which Baz Luhrmann and William Shakespeare establish "Romeo and Juliet" as a tragedy.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and Contrast the different ways in which Baz Luhrmann and William Shakespeare establish "Romeo and Juliet" as a tragedy. In studying "Romeo and Juliet", we have looked at two very different interpretations of the story, first the original scripted play by William Shakespeare, and then Baz Luhrmann's fast moving, modern adaptation. Both of these versions have taken the aspect of tragedy in the play and made the most of the techniques available to them to create a finished production that is effective and impressionable. Both Shakespeare and Luhrmann have made extensive use of mind association throughout their productions of "Romeo and Juliet" by creating many different genres to connect with the memories of the audience so that they are subconsciously aware that they are witnessing a tragedy. This is more apparent when watching Baz Luhrmann's interpretation than in reading Shakespeare's original text, because genres and themes are more directly obvious when being viewed. A common genre that is used in the opening scenes of Luhrmann's "Romeo and Juliet" is the dramatic and exaggerated 'Spaghetti Western.' The sound effects used are typical of this genre; whizzing bullets and the almost cartoonish exaggerated sound of a gun being spun around. ...read more.

Middle

Both of the families have sizeable cars, and ostentatious expensive jewellery, which accentuates the power and the money that is behind the rift between the families. All through the introduction, there are references to, and images of, guns. This is opposed by the constant images of purity that are placed as along side the violent images as a contrast and to emphasise the innocent love corrupted by the violence and hatred of the Montague and Capulet households. All of these examples of iconography can be linked to the theme of tragedy, but probably none more than the image that is shown of the Montague and Capulet family pictures on a newspaper page. This image is shown, and then quickly a flickering flame is shown to us. The sequence is repeated, and overall, it gives the impression that the paper is being burnt. This signifies the destruction of the two families, and as the fire was started by the feud between them, it signifies how they brought about their own devastation. Luhrmann has used the original setting of Verona for Romeo and Juliet, but transposed it into the modern setting of 'Verona Beach'. This translates the text to his benefit in the way that his audience can then link it to the 'Venice Beach' in California on which the slightly corrupt but beautiful Verona Beach in Romeo and Juliet is based on. ...read more.

Conclusion

Luhrmann has used specific lighting to fit in with the clarity and depth of the text. At the beginning of the images used to depict the prologue, he has made the lighting quite bright, but when the line "From ancient grudge break to new mutiny," the lighting becomes much darker and more overcast to blend in with the text, which has started to reflect the play's theme of tragedy. In conclusion, I think that Baz Luhrmann and William Shakespeare, although they are addressing the same story and theme, proceed to do so in different ways. This is because of the different media that is used and that was made available to them. Luhrmann had the choice of using iconography, a technique that he employed a lot during the film, whereas Shakespeare did not, and this immediately made a big difference in their styles. Luhrmann has taken a stylised approach to the play, whereas when Shakespeare's original version is produced, it is often portrayed as a naturalistic piece. Shakespeare focuses much more on the text and language to launch his theme, whereas Luhrmann is more successful as establishing the genre of tragedy through his choice of images and pace. In this was I can conclude that they were both successful in establishing Romeo and Juliet as a tragedy, but they did so with contradictory methods. Emily Taylor 11B Mr Tucker ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How effective is the Prologue as an introduction to Romeo and Juliet?

    5 star(s)

    In the play, we are presented with Romeo in a way that makes us believe that he is always a victim of fate. Friar Lawrence, whose role in the play is to try to unite the feuding families by strategically marrying Romeo and Juliet (thereby bringing peace to the streets of Verona)

  2. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?...." (act 1 scene 3) this is a problem because Juliet has fallen in love with Romeo. Scene 5 is set in a big party in lord Capulet's mansions. He is one of the richest men in Verona.

  1. Compare Baz Luhrmann's version of the Shakespeare classic 'Romeo and Juliet' with the original ...

    The music changes to western and this is indicative of a change in subject and style. Another man gets out of the car while the first moves towards the Montagues' car. The Capulets are dressed in a totally different way to the Montagues.

  2. Analysis and comparison of the presentation of the prologue in film version of 'Romeo ...

    This effect of repeating jogs the audience's memories reminding them again and again the importance of the lines in the prologue. As the prologue stops being spoken, the same dramatic music becomes loud again. Each of the main characters are shown one by one with a pause on each with

  1. Could the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet happen today? The story of the "star ...

    -The nurse speaking to Romeo. When Romeo tells the nurse of the marriage, the nurse replies "This afternoon sir? Well, she shall be there." The nurse can travel freely around Verona and suspicions are not raised when she speaks to Romeo, unlike Juliet, who would rarely be allowed out of

  2. Right from the start Shakespeare makes it clear that there is tension between the ...

    no need for this fight he tells them with very stern words like 'If you ever disturb our streets again, Your lives shall pay for the forfeit of the peace'. This means that they will be sentenced to the death penalty if they violate this peace.

  1. To what extent is Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet a successful film ...

    Therefore in the balcony scene a Shakespearean audience would see that Romeo is metaphorically embellishing his admiration for Juliet. On the other hand, many people in a modern film audience may think that because Romeo uses this elaborate way of speaking, his emotions are 'artificial', and do not come from the heart.

  2. The two directors Baz Lurhman and Zefferelli both presented the style, pace, tone and ...

    Capulet ask for a fight then one of the Montague men was forced to draw for his sword then the fight gets more serious and fights develops with pushing, shoving among peasants, then they ring the big bell to inform the others that there's a big fight then people get more involved.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work