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"Baz Luhrmann said that in his version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, he wanted to "re-reveal the real Shakespeare". Consider the effectiveness of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, focusing on its opening scene(s)"

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Introduction

"Baz Luhrmann said that in his version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, he wanted to "re-reveal the real Shakespeare". Consider the effectiveness of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, focusing on its opening scene(s)" Romeo and Juliet is arguably the most famous play written by William Shakespeare. Set in Verona, Italy, the play marks "a pair of star-cross'd lovers" caught in between a violent feud between their families. Though the families are similar in wealth and in social class, the feud between them remains strong, meaning that Romeo and Juliet, despite being in love are never allowed to be together. The end of the play marks the death of the "star-cross'd lovers", and a peace being found between the two families. The play has merited many different versions - theatre productions, operas, ballets and films being inspired by it, including Baz Luhrmann's famous film of Romeo and Juliet. Baz Luhrmann had an aim to "re-reveal the real Shakespeare". This means he is creating a version of the play faithful to Shakespeare's original and yet which would appeal to a modern audience. By creating modern day characters with specific modern day costumes, by editing dialogue, by creating a fitting setting and by adding modern day film effects such as music and camera editing, Baz Luhrmann has generally been effective in achieving his aim of re-revealing the real Shakespeare. ...read more.

Middle

In the original text, Shakespeare uses swords as the weapons, so by calling the weapon brand "sword", (by having the name "sword" engraved on the gun) Luhrmann cleverly stays faithful to the original text. Luhrmann modernises this play to effectively communicate with the present day generation. Props such as cars and helicopters are also used to communicate with the present day viewers. Luhrmann therefore effectively "re-reveals the real Shakespeare" whilst staying faithful to the original text. The dialogue used by Baz Luhrmann shows his aim to "re-reveal the real Shakespeare". Luhrmann decides not to change the dialogue from the initial text, but rather to edit some lines out. In Shakespearean times, the language would have been the standard language of the time, or a "stage language" that people of the time would have understood. However, to one living today, that language is very hard to understand, and so one may have difficulty comprehending the story. Baz Luhrmann effectively keeps to the original text, but edits out lines to avoid long speeches; to make the scenes faster and easier to understand. By doing so, he makes the language compatible with present day speech, and yet still keeps the original text which shows his success in "re-revealing the real Shakespeare." ...read more.

Conclusion

However, some people may feel that perhaps Luhrmann has slightly overused the music, causing the movie becomes loud and aggressive, which is in fact unlike the original text which has a more peaceful context to it. Luhrmann is unsuccessful in staying faithful to the original text in this aspect. Luhrmann is not successful in all aspects of the music. He is not entirely successful in "re-revealing the real Shakespeare" in the music. Luhrmann effectively creates a fitting setting for the modern version of this Romeo and Juliet by using Mexico City - a city known for its violence and yet prevailing religiousness, much like the Verona city of Shakespeare's time. By modernising costume and editing dialogue, Luhrmann effectively introduces Romeo and Juliet to a wider, multi-ethnic modern audience. Luhrmann also creates characters that can be understood by a modern audience by using first names and creating characters using music and other means. He effectively uses film techniques to modernise Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Such effects are swivelling the camera and creating zooms and still shots. Baz Luhrmann also uses music to effectively modernize the film. However he occasionally overuses the music which does not stay faithful to the original text. Although Luhrmann is not entirely successful in "re-revealing the real Shakespeare in the music, overall, Baz Luhrmann effectively "re-reveals the real Shakespeare" in his version of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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