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

Analysis of a scene from Luhrmann's production of Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 1

Extracts from this document...


Analysis of a scene from Luhrmann's production of Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 1 It seems interesting at first that Baz Luhrmann should choose to rework Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet into a modern movie. However, when you think about the aims of a modern film-maker such as wanting to really affect the audience and create a series of moving and powerful images shot through with dialogue, then it is less surprising that Romeo and Juliet was Luhrmann's choice. Shakespeare's play is filled with emotion and suspense, so had limitless potential to be made into a great movie. Luhrmann adapted the play for the big screen very effectively, managing to portray the emotion of the film using visual storytelling techniques that had not been available to Shakespeare at the time he wrote and staged it, for example elaborate sets. One of the scenes where Luhrmann portrays the emotion and drama of the story superbly is Act 3, Scene 1. It is possible to consider how effectively Luhrmann adapted this scene by studying the different techniques he employed in reworking it from the play into part of a movie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The soundtrack complements the movie, and was used in this particular scene to help set the mood. Music in the movie is used to build tension, convey emotions and create links between other scenes in the movie. For example, whenever the viewer sees Tybalt and the Capulet boys together, wild western music can be distinctly heard. Be it at the petrol station in the opening of the movie or on Verona beach, the wild western music is consistently associated with them. When they walk onto the beach out of their car, the way they swagger and walk in a triangle formation with Tybalt in front looks like they are beginning a gun fight scene from a western movie and the music accentuates this visual image. ...read more.


He also cuts out a lot of the original dialogue. This is more easily explained though, as a movie is more about being able to portray emotions through other mediums than dialogue such as visual images, music and the expressions on actors' faces. Where it is not always possible to identify why characters become so angered at the comments of other characters in the play, it is made more obvious in Luhrmann's adaptation. For example, when Tybalt taunts Mercutio near the beginning of Act 3, Scene 1, 'Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo-', the connotations of what he has said are not that clear in Shakespeare's play. However, in the movie it is clear to a modern day audience that Tybalt is trying to rile Mercutio and it is more understandable as to why Mercutio is angered by the comment. The sets created by Luhrmann and his design team portray the attitudes of the times and the people of Verona. Verona beach is seedy and all about advertising, a real contrast to the holiness and religiousness of the wedding ceremony of Romeo and Juliet in the previous scene. This sets Romeo and Juliet away from the rest of the characters in that they seem more elevated and pure. The seeming religiousness of Juliet in the shot juxtaposed between the two fights makes her seem innocent due to the candles, religious figures and warm glow of her room. It also gives the audience a sense of what Romeo is losing by continuing on with this fight. By having the statue of Christ damaged at the end of the scene, Luhrmann promotes the idea that not only is this feud tearing the city and the families apart but that it is also damaging the religion of the families involved. The religious symbol has started to break as it gives up on the feuding families. The use of guns in the movie as opposed to swords and daggers has much more effect than just modernising the play. ...read more.


A two shot is used well with Mercutio and Romeo in shot to show the emotion of both characters as a result of Mercutio's imminent death. The extreme close up of the gun magazine and the gun being cocked are in contrast to the extreme close up of Romeo offering his hand in peace. Luhrmann uses high and low-angle shots to accentuate the vulnerability of different characters. These shots are usually used with Romeo as their subject, that is that either Romeo is shot from a high angle or him looking up from a low angle. This accentuates the vulnerability of him as a character but also the vulnerable positions he puts himself in such as having Tybalt point a gun to his head. As Romeo cries, 'I am Fortune's Fool!', there is a high angle shot down on him from the top of the statue, making him look, insignificant, vulnerable and giving a sense that he is in trouble for killing Tybalt. There is a high angle shot on Romeo as he shoots Tybalt which is ominous as it suggests higher powers are looking down on the wrong he is doing. Luhrmann has adapted Act 3 Scene 1 effectively in his movie. He had to decide what to include and how to shoot the scene to convey the emotion that fuels it, indeed one of Luhrmann's main concerns when shooting this movie was staying true to Shakespeare's original play. Luhrmann had an advantage over Shakespeare in that he could visually show a lot of the emotion and feeling that Shakespeare had to have his characters explain when he staged it. Where Luhrmann has omitted text from the original play, he has shown the emotion that was expressed in the text through the actions of characters and, among other factors, sets, lighting and music. So while Shakespeare supplied the wonderful story behind Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, it is Luhrmann who successfully turned the play into a modern day movie that stayed true to Shakespeare's play while being suited to a modern day audience. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    In Act 3 Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare uses language to make ...

    4 star(s)

    On the contrast however, there is love shared between Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio, as they Romeo says to Mercutio 'Gentle Mercutio' this shows love and he is also showing concern and trying to talk Mercutio into not fighting but calling him peaceful and gentle names.

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

    In the film we see her future being destroyed as she speaks about it. I think this makes more of an impact on the scene. When Juliet is found dead in the Baz Luhrmann production forensics come in to take her picture, this puts emphasise on her isolation and distance from the family.

  1. Romeo's character analysis

    and disorganized, because it was almost certainly death if Romeo stayed, Romeo tells her that and she replies by saying it was not morning yet and he does not need to go, so Romeo's will dissolves and he says he will stay and face capture and death for her, this

  2. Romeo & Juliet Analysis of Act 1 & 2

    of Rosaline and he now thinks that he has seen true beauty and is in complete love with Juliet. From what the audience have seen from Romeo so far at the first meeting with Juliet is that he has changed his course of love.

  1. Romeo and Juliet theatre production essay.

    He describes an apothecary's shop, whose owner is so poor that he can be bribed to sell poison. The sale is completed, and Romeo leaves for Verona. Generally, as mentioned before Elizabethan plays did not depend on scenery to indicate the setting (place)

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

    the way Romeo and Juliet find out about each other seems more realistic because the nurse does not help so much so she doesn't work it out. In the Franco Zeffirelli version the nurse is asked by both but does not seem to work out that they are in love.

  1. Discuss the significance of Act 3, scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet with particular ...

    He says this to start trouble with Tybalt, so that they'd have a fight, but neither of them knows the consequences. Violent language is another very important form of dialect in act 3 scene 1, especially the scene where Mercutio and Tybalt fight.

  2. How does Shakespeare show conflict, violence and build tension in act 1 scene 1 ...

    Also, the structure of this scene is short, sharp and fast, this technique is deliberately used to build tension and adrenaline is causing the servants to react fast evidently making the tension rise. Shakespeare has tactfully done this to add an underlying tension to all the mockery and taunting that is being presented.

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