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

Analyse Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' Particularly focusing on Act 1 Scene 5.

Extracts from this document...


Analyse Baz Luhrmann's Interpretation of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' Particularly focusing on Act1 Scene5 Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' was first performed on stage at the Globe Theatre, South London, in 1597. More recently the modern film interpretations, by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968, and Baz Luhrmann in 1997, have been viewed by thousands. 'Romeo and Juliet' is truly one of the greatest tales of all time, for it can still entertain an audience of all ages and stun them into silence, with its clever script and gripping plot. Admittedly the romantic tragedy of 'two star crossed lovers' has been used to such an extent in a variety of stories such as West Side Story, that it is now considered a clich´┐Ż. Yet despite this, the story of 'Romeo and Juliet' is still incredibly popular and easily grips a modern audiences. Set in the 13th century, Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is a story of two lovers, who, because of the hatred between their families, which goes back generations, can never be together. Their 'only love sprung from their only hate' leads to the tragic deaths of the two teenagers, and, ironically, the reconciliation of their families, the Montagues, and the Capulets. When Shakespeare wrote this play, it was to be performed on an 'Apron stage', and by the nature of such an Elizabethan stage, this caused several problems . ...read more.


This was not the case when Shakespeare's plays were originally performed because many members of the audience were far away from the stage, and could not see, and interpret facial expressions. Although some of the script has been missed out, the language has still, essentially, been kept the same. In the same way that sounds scenery and movement have been used to replace some of the script, they have also been used to enhance and explain it. Two of the main themes that run throughout the play are religion and love vs. hate. Religion is apparent from the first scene, of Act1, in the film interpretation, which is set at the petrol garage, when Tybalt and Benvolio start a brawl. In the original script both families are catholic, and attend the same church, however Luhrmann changed this to show an even greater divide, by the Capulet family being Catholic, and the Montague's, being an Anglican family. The youngsters use guns to fight, which are decorated with the family name, and pictures. Tybalt and the other Catholics involved in the brawl, have highly ornate guns, with elaborate decoration over most of the body. This shows the nature of the Catholics, with many detailed idols, and statues to worship. The Montague guns, however, are more simplistic, with a longer and sleeker body and little decoration other than the family crest and name. ...read more.


As some of the script has been cut, another way was needed to show the attitude and characteristics of certain characters. Juliet, for example, is dressed as an angel for the costume party; this shows her purity and innocence. This also links in with her saintly appearance to Romeo, which is mentioned during their sonnet. In my opinion, the film uses very string and effective imagery which, like the language of all Shakespeare plays, is based on drastic, exciting, and clear-cut contrasts. One of these contrasts is between wet and dry. The tears, blood, and water of the sea, pool and fish tank contrast greatly with the baron, dry land of Mantua and the heat of the city. The liquids represent freedom that seems real yet is contained by solid boundries, and the feelings and emotions that are running high in all the turmoil. Dryness, the opposite of this, gives the feeling of being restricted and starved of an important substance. Luhrmann does not appear to have fashioned this film with the elitist Shakespeare 'Purist' in mind. Instead by using lively modern imagery, mixed with a rock sound track, Lurmann has made 'Romeo and Juliet' come alive again, except this time with an appeal to a much wider audience than would have been expected. I believe that Luhrmann has achieved what he set out to do, which is re-create the classic story in the way he thinks that Shakespeare might, was he alive today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and 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 GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. The major differences between the two movies Romeo and Juliet who were made by ...

    but Paris thinks Juliet is laughing with him instead of at him. This comedy was added by Baz Luhrmann to try and slow the movie down a bit. Romeo then hides behind a wall and recites a sonnet to Juliet who picks up on the sonnet and joins in.

  2. Compare and contrast the two 'Romeo and Juliet' films,by Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann. ...

    This can be compared with the Nurse's relationship with Juliet. When the Nurse goes to meet Romeo to send him the message from Juliet the Nurse seems to have made an effort in her clothes, in both productions. She has taken time to do her make-up and make sure that

  1. How does Baz Luhrmann make a successful interpretation of Romeo and Juliet for a ...

    The Capulet boys are portrayed very differently. They seem to be very sleek and sophisticated; they have a Latino feel and are very sharp. They wear a lot of crosses and emblems of the Virgin Mary, such as tattoos, on their guns and on Tybalt's T-shirt.

  2. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    This is one of the pitfalls that Shakespere portrayed in his play for young love. Romeo did not understand the outcomes of his actions. He never realized this until the damage was done. He was too involved in his love for Juliet that he didn't devote himself to any other circumstances.

  1. How effectively do Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli interpret Act I Scene VI when ...

    Lord Capulet is also shown in the same ways in both versions of Romeo and Juliet. In both he is dressed in robes like a roman king, this, like Lady Capulet shows that he is very powerful and dresses like someone who is powerful to show this.

  2. How successful is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Representing William Shakespeare's ...

    Showing his hopes that the marriage of the Romeo and Juliet would end the conflict. The main reason religious symbols, themes and ideas are used during Luhrmanns production, is because he has wanted to state that life, love and death are controlled by their religion and God, so the priest

  1. "How does Shakespeare include love tragedy danger and violence into act 1 scene 5? ...

    The first conversation between Romeo and Juliet is an extended Christian metaphor. Using this metaphor, Romeo ingeniously manages to convince Juliet to let him kiss her. However this metaphor holds many further functions. The religious association of the conversation clearly implies that their love can be described only through religious vocabulary.

  2. Compare & Contrast The Ways In Which, 'Baz Luhrmann' & 'Franco Zeffirelli' Present Scene ...

    restricted to the audience and only allows them to see the very dramatic parts. Finally the opening comes to a very abrupt end leaving the audience quite in shock while they begin to recover from it. Zeffirelli implies the same technique, by illustrating what is in stall for the audience.

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