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Romeo and Juliet.

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Romeo and Juliet Introduction William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and wrote plays for the rich, poor, homeless, estate owners: the whole spectrum of society. He started writing about 400 years ago, and wrote over 36 plays in his life. They were performed in playhouses. These were built in a circle shape with the stage on one of the walls of this circle. The playhouse was 3 stories high. The higher you were the more you paid. At the top, seats were for the rich people who could afford them. These were known as the heavens. In the middle of the circle on the ground was the standing area, were the poor people watched (called groundlings). All kinds of people attended the plays. There were thieves, pick pockets beggars and cripples. The play house could hold up to about 3000 spectators and had twenty sides that made it appear round. At the front of the theatre was the stage. It was about 42 feet wide and 28 feet deep and was raised a few feet off the ground which was to protect the actors of the crowd. There were trap doors in the floor of the stage and in the heavens. ...read more.


He chose to cast a mixed race because Shakespeare wrote this plays for everyone. So Luhrmann decided to put all kinds of people in. Shakespeare used a prologue in his play of "Romeo and Juliet" to give the audience an idea of the duration, place, plot and background. In the first quatrain the he says "In fair Verona, where we lay our scene"; here Shakespeare is telling the audience about the place. "From ancient grudge break to new mutiny"; here is some background information. The adjective "ancient" tells us it is a long-standing feud. "A pair of star-crossed lovers takes their life"; the Elizabethans believed that your fate was written in the stars and so this part of the prologue says that the lovers would die. "And the continuance of their parents' rage..." here is says that the two parents continued to hate each other; "Which, but the children's end, nought could remove"; i.e. but only when their children are dead are they brought together in friendship. The whole Prologue would have been spoken by a Chorus or by the whole cast. This character would not have taken part in the play but would just stay on the sidelines and introduced it and provided a commentary on the action of the play as it unfolded. ...read more.


The newly printed newspapers show scenes of fighting and headlines of "NEW MUTINY" and "ANCIENT GRUDGE". More magazines come up showing more pictures of fighting and death. This shows that the fighting has been going on for some time. "Two households..."; this scene shows newspaper report pictures of the two families with Christ in between the two sets. "Both alike in dignity" shows a newspaper headline "Montague vs Capulet". Luhrmann shows this by showing two great skyscrapers each with a Montague and Capulet sign on top of it. In the newspaper pictures the pictures of the families are exactly the same height and size. This also shows that they have an equal status. "In fair Verona, where we lay our scene" shows aerial shots of Verona, and scenes from close-up of the buildings, i.e. the two skyscrapers, "from ancient grudge break to new mutiny" shoes a helicopter patrolling and a newspaper headline showing "Ancient Grudge", then police forces jumping out of helicopters with guns. Other newspapers come up showing a man with a gun with the headline "New Mutiny". "With civil blood makes civil names unclean..." shows lots of police street fighting with guns and civilians running away, "...from forth the fatal loins of these two foes" shows a Capulet and a Montague about to shoot each other and then an aerial shot of a helicopter patrolling. ...read more.

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