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

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

Extracts from this document...


Luhrmann introduces his film using the prologue too but in a very different way. He uses a newsreader on a television set for modernity and to show the seriousness of this shocking event. She reads quite fast, as a newsreader would and uses twelve lines of the sonnet because these are the lines that are important and are directly relevant to the play. Behind her there is a caption and a picture. The caption reads "star-crossed lovers" and the picture shows a broken ring. The ring is a circle that has no end, just like the love Romeo and Juliet shared and now that it is broken by Romeo and Juliet taking their life the eternal love they share is now broken too. This is represented in the prologue by the line" Death-marked love" The caption is there because it is part of the prologue, the most important line and because the fate of both Romeo and Juliet was in he stars. On the last line dramatic music begins to play quietly and, when this first prologue ends, it gets louder and "IN FAIR VERONA" appears in black and white print. The prologue is repeated, but this time it is only eight lines and a man speaks it. The first line, he says is "Two households alike in dignity," And it is said after the camera shows an almost identical family tree of both families with a statue of Jesus in the middle and a newspaper heading "Montague Vs Capulet" again showing how alike the two are. While he does, this scenes of violence i.e. guns are seen, helicopters and armed police appear for dramatic effect and, when important phrases are said they appear as newspaper headings. For example, "ancient grudge," "Capulet Vs Montague," "new mutiny" and "civil blood makes civil hands unclean." By using newspaper headings he is keeping it modern and is helping us to take the words in visually and audibly. ...read more.


This is linked to the car registrations because Luhrmann is trying g to emphasis their likeness. Knowing that the Motagues are feeling intimidated by him, Abra shows his silver teeth with the word 'SIN' on them and shouts to scare them. He gets into the car mocking the reaction he got from the Montagues who are having a discussion. "I will bite my thumb at them, which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it." He bites his thumb at the Capulets in the hope that he wont be seen but at that moment Abra moves his rear view mirror and see him making a mockery of him. He dances around while biting the tip of his thumb and waving his spread out hand and making a mocking noise. This is a well-known modern sign of mockery and is disrespectful, something to which Abra doesn't take kindly. He gets very aggressive and angry; he thumps the steering wheel and accelerates while grinding his teeth to show this. The Montagues get scared and fumble to try and fill the car with petrol. Deciding against this he rolls over the car to shield himself and Abra turns his car to face theirs and he gets out to face them. He asks, almost politely, "Do you bite your thumb at us sir?" Sampson replies, "I do bite my thumb sir," having failed to answer Abra's question he asks it again in a more aggressive tone. While they are shouting across the forecourt, there is a drum roll for background music, which gets louder as their speech continues. As Gregory pointed out that their kinsman was returning Sampson replies, "Yes, better sir." They draw their weapons to fight at this point when Abra says, "Draw if you be men." He says this as if he is daring them to fight him and his kinsmen and he is questioning their manhood. ...read more.


"And Montague," he looks at the Montagues, "Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets." The camera goes to the Captain on the last line and again this shows the three parties involved, the authorities, the Capulets and the Montagues. The Captain ends on the line "If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace." This is a very powerful line because it is a direct threat and can be said with aggression and meaning. The Captain does this but remains calm and his speech is slow and no louder than before. This line shows the severity of the whole situation and the two previous incidents. The fact that the setting is modern and that the Captain is speaking in an old way makes no difference because we are so used to hearing legal representatives speak in this manner, again this shows modernity. I think Luhrmann ends the way he does because the line he uses is so final and it emphasises what he is saying and cannot mistaken for anything else, it is abrupt in comparison to the text yet more dramatic. In my opinion Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet is the better of the two. I think that Luhrmann must be a very intelligent man to be able to use this play and turn it into something different but keeping with the text. I love the way he made it modern and easy to understand. I found Zeffirelli's version slightly boring to watch maybe because it was old but I think that Luhrmann showed what was written a lot better. Zeffirelli was no doubt intelligent but in comparison to Luhrmann he lacks originality and imagination however, it was hard to produce a film like that whenever he directed. The characters in Luhrmann's adaptation were suited to their parts and they really made the film easy to understand. I think it was mainly because of the modernity and sheer imaginative effects and scenery that I liked about his film. ...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

    Romeo and Juliet comparison

    3 star(s)

    traditional outfit made with red and yellow material of frills and tights which is bright to show they are the Capulet family this type of clothing fits it with the idea that their jokes are cruel but make them look like jesters.

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

    (act 1 scene 5)This was used lot in Shakespeare plays. What also added to the tension is that the ball has been set up for the announcement of pairs proposing to Juliet "LADY CAPULET: marry, that 'marry' is the very theme I came to talk of.

  1. The Modern setting of 'Romeo and Juliet' is an extreme change to the original ...

    They are very open minded and speak what they feel but then when confronted they completely change there way of action from being loud to quiet and civil. They also show signs of scarce when confronted by the Capulet. How ever some of the Capulet have a very obvious foreign accent and are very nasty.

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

    feel threatened at all by their presence but take them more as a joke than any thing else. The Montague's took this wind up a little too lightly and decide to make a second move. Here one of the Montague's bites their thumb at the Capulet's.

  1. Romeo and Juliet - own version

    They also have very exclusive lifestyles. This means they only mix with people of similar wealth or popularity. They seem protected and isolated from reality. Both the traditional and modern Italian-Americans families will live a life full of fear, not only fear of being killed by one an other, but also a fear if bankruptcy and loss of pride.

  2. Two versions of the movie Romeo and Juliet, which was adapted from William Shakespeare's ...

    which means that he will not go out looking for his enemies. It is then that Prince Escalus, followed by his cortege, enters to a flurry of trumpets sounding. Everyone immediately stops, and pays attention to the Prince. He delivers his speech to the two households, finishing with the lines;

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

    The rooftops of houses, church spires and a river are seen clearly. You are able to feel the quietness of the city in the early morning, which again gives the effect of the city being very calm and peaceful. The camera pans round the whole city, and then moves up

  2. Analysing film trailers.

    At the end of the trailer, there is a big piece of text saying "OCEAN'S ELEVEN" then there is a shot of Daniel Ocean saying the main catchphrase in the movie which is "You're either in or you're out", this phrase is said through the movie several times.

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