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Are Shakespeare's characters still engaging to a young modern audience?

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Introduction

Are Shakespeare's characters still engaging to a young modern audience? Shakespeare's characters in Romeo and Juliet are multi-dimensional (true to life). This makes them more engaging to the audience; Shakespeare also uses stereotypes to add to the atmosphere of comedy and drama. Examples of multi-dimensional characters are Romeo and Juliet themselves; an example of a stereotypical character is Mercutio. He adds comedy and drama when he is stabbed in the fight scene. Shakespeare shows violence and aggression with the use of swords. I think this is better than Baz Luhrmans interpretation where he uses guns. This in my eyes is too far and disengages me because any fool can use a gun. It takes at least some skill to wield a sword. The use of swords is more masculine, which is engaging. The gentle reading at the start of the opening scene in Romeo and Juliet is more engaging than the news report in Baz Luhrmans because it adds to the atmosphere of lust when the play begins. Whereas the news report is too modern and occurs to regularly in normal everyday life to be engaging, this also takes away some of the original charm of the play. Original charm being the feeling the audience gets when the prologue is read. It engages the audience because they have to think about what is being said, and not just letting it drift into the sub-conscious, which happens when you don't need to think about what is being said or done. ...read more.

Middle

This over sensitive attitude disengages me because Romeo should be more masculine, in that because he's prepared to die for Juliet and this is a manly thing to do. Daz in "Daz for Zo�" on the other hand is a "bit of rough" a rebel perhaps. This hard man character is much more engaging than Romeo soft approach. This doesn't just engage males. I can also see why some females would prefer Daz this, is because he is a bit rebellious and mysterious. Out of the two Romeo figures I still think the older Romeo is most engaging even though he has a soft approach. This seems to work well with a young modern audience as well as older ones because Shakespeare Is good at making us sympathise with Romeo. From when Romeo enters (Line 152) to line 159 when Romeo says "out of her favour where I am in love" is portraying Romeo as a heart broken, little boy, who is upset about someone he has just seen, so hardly knows. This is also showing how maybe Romeo is not yet mature enough to realise what true love is, so when Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time through the fish tank in Baz Luhrmans production. The fish tank, separates the two lovers, but still allows their eyes to meet. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet doesn't want to be with Paris, she wants to be with Romeo who she deeply adores. Even though Juliet feels anxious towards the potion she is about to drink, she still drinks it. At this point, I am deeply engaged in what is happening to Juliet. I feel that this experience has made Juliet see life in a different way than she usually would. Juliet is becoming the lady she wants to be, she has control. When Juliet has the potion she is in control of what happens next and I think that control is what she wanted all along, because her parents had, had control over her all her life. Overall, yes I do think the original Romeo and Juliet characters are still engaging to a young modern audience. This is also because Shakespeare has made them timeless in that some of what Romeo and Juliet do in the text is relevant and relates to modern life and experiences. Most young people have not yet experienced what it is like to fall in love or fell real love towards another person, and this intrigues, excites and therefore engages them further. Romeo and Juliet has been and will be the topic of many directors and writer for years to come. Even though so many writers and directors have used the basic Romeo and Juliet story, the original text has the most charm and feeling. Liam Harvey ...read more.

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