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

How does Baz Luhrman make Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet more accessible to a modern teenage audience?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Baz Luhrman make Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet more accessible to a modern teenage audience? Romeo and Juliet was written during the fifteenth century and the language and style is Elizabethan. Today the language is seen as incomprehensible to a young audience. This can cause many problems because Shakespearean texts are compulsory for students to study during their education. Usual responses to Romeo and Juliet are very negative as teenagers find the story inaccessible. However the essential storyline could be aimed at a young audience with themes of forbidden love, violence and family feuds. Therefore the main problem facing Luhrmann's film was not the plot but the language. Luhrmann's film interpretation of Romeo and Juliet compensates for the setbacks produced through language because Luhrmann has enclosed modern day scenes, clothing and music to create a more exciting and enthralling film, whilst still using the original Shakespearean language from the text. This makes Luhrmann's adaptation of the play very different from other versions on the market. It shifts away from interpretations such as Zefferelli's, which does not meet teenage desires. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt gets ready to aim at them while they leave, dropping his cigar in the process, this then lights the petrol making the whole gas station go up in flames. Benvolio then gets up and runs across the bonnets of cars across the highway to escape. This is where the scene ends. One of the ways that Luhrmann introduces the characters is through their clothing and style. The Capulet and Montague families are easily recognised and separable by their own familiar appearance. The Montague's are shown as pranksters, wearing open Hawaiian shirts and having a relaxed attitude. Their image makes them appear as not fighting characters, whilst the Capulet's come across as the more violent due to their dark clothing and cowboy style. This makes us think of the Capulet's as scary and intimidating whilst the Montague's come across as nervy and more amusing. This means that the audience automatically constructs opinions of the two families, helping to make the film more easily understandable and to reinforce the plot. The music also has a similar effect by changing the mood of the film. ...read more.

Conclusion

Younger people in particular are very cautious at approaching his work because they find it hard to understand and are consequently not interested in studying his texts. Luhrmann's version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is very unlike other interpretations. He uses an upbeat pace in modern day times, whilst still using a Shakespearean text. The style of Luhrmann's film includes connections to western films and current issues in order to challenge traditional responses to Shakespeare. Elements such as these help a younger audience to relate to the film and the themes within the plot. This means that the audience is more likely to enjoy the film. I think that the way Luhrmann's has introduced a mixture of modern day scenes with Shakespearean language works very well together and successfully interests teenagers to the story of Romeo and Juliet. However in some parts, I felt that the way in which Luhrmann distinguished between the Capulet's and the Montague's was too extreme, as their styles were very different and I thought that the music was not necessary when they were already easily identified. I felt that the first scene was very appealing towards teenagers, especially boys, due to the fast cars and violence, which are two things commonly known to interest them. ...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. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    Immediately after Romeo asks what is her mother and a nurse replies Juliet's mother is "the lady of the house." (act 1 scene 5)this also adds to the tension in the play. Romeo and Juliet falling in love is a problem because they don't know each others backgrounds but the

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

    thing to say, however, Luhrmann has been very clever by previously showing us a close up of Benvolio's gun which is a 'Sword 9mm.' By making the brand name Sword he has modernised the setting but he has kept the original text, a very clever idea in my opinion.

  1. Character Study On Juliet

    innocent girl but on the in side she has the attitude of her mother a flirt. This part of the play leaves more questions in your mind like: 1. Will they marry 2. Will their parents catch them before its too late?

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

    Then the two houses are held up at a petrol station where they then begin to fight. The two gangs, Montague and Capulet are nowhere near alike in many ways. For example their clothes and there culture are completely opposite.

  1. Explore how Baz Luhrmann, the director of "Romeo and Juliet", has produced an exciting ...

    While the camera flies through the city, Italian operatic music plays loudly and gives a powerful opening, the music continues and a series of several dozen shots are seen, in rapid succession of a variety of things; a choir boy singing, fireworks, gun fire, people, violence.

  2. Discuss how Baz Luhrman reaches his audience and establishes mood in his film adaptation ...

    In the news report there is a picture of a broken wedding ring, this also helps to portray the message of tragedy and heartbreak. In the screenplay Shakespeares' original text has been adapted to suit the modern audience. This is seen clearly in the first scene at the petrol station.

  1. Romeo and Juliet - film versions.

    The Capulet's on the other hand are the complete opposite to the Montague's. They wear dark black suits with silver heeled boot that show just how smooth and classy they are. This initial impression is very important as it allows people to see the behaviour of the characters.

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

    The music reaches a peek as the now familiar words of the prologue flash upon the screen. The words white on black, suspense, power, the words showing love, lust, hatred and tragedy. Followed by random images shooting across the screen, fireworks, choir boys singing in a loud wild fashion.

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