• 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)

    This means that by the end of the play the feud between the families will have been resolved. We definitely see this new family alliance at the end of the play for Lord Montague and Lord Capulet shake hands and Lord Capulet expresses his sorrow saying, "O brother Montague, give me your hand".

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

    He is one of the richest men in Verona. There are servants, musician, dancing, food people dress for a ball and people im mask this would look very dramatic on an Elizabethan theatre and the crowed at the bottom of the stage felt like they where in the play How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet ?

  1. "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare By what means does Shakespeare engage his audience ...

    Capulet believes that they should get together as he, just like them, are high in status.

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

    the Capulets mansion, let alone to speak to a male and a family enemy. Friar Lawrence's plan to "Turn your households rancour to pure love." was a good idea but misguided. If he had refused to marry the couple then perhaps their dedication to each other would not have been so strong.

  1. How does Baz Luhrmann make Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet more accessible to a teenage ...

    The Camera and sound effect combine to focus upon this single action making it last an age. This along with the ricochets of bullets and the other sound effects are very 'spaghetti western' orientated. Baz Luhrmann uses a multitude of cinematic devises each heightening a certain aspect of the scene.

  2. Comment on how Baz Luhrmann uses video and audio techniques to communicate themes and ...

    Showing there must be public interest in the growing feud between the two families, and again highlighting the conflict between the two families. Extremely short images are shown of police helping civilians escape the troubles caused by this abhorrence between the Montague's and the Capulet's.

  1. Compare And Contrast The Presentation Of Two Film Versions Of The Prologue To Romeo ...

    A slow zoom brings the set nearer until it fills a substantial proportion of the screen. It is read and directed in such a way it entices you as the camera slowly zooms in, taking the audience with him as we wonder what is going on and what will happen next.

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

    Firstly we see an open topped yellow car being driven along a highway by the Montagues. The man who is sitting on the back seat has Montague and a symbol tattooed on the back of his shaven head, says, "A dog of the house of Montague moves me."

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