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Compare and contrast the two interpretations of Act 3, Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the two interpretations of Act 3, Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet' Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story, which plays with its audiences emotions throughout the play. This dramatic play by William Shakespeare is about two young people from different families. Romeo is a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. They live their romance secretly so the feud between the families would not get out of hand. Due to the tension, the lovers take their own lives and the families are left heartbroken. Act 3, Scene 1 is so important in the play because until the key events of the scene unfold, the play is portrayed as a romantic love story, but as the scene draws to an end, the atmosphere is a lot darker and it actually develops into a tragedy. At the start of Act 3, Scene 1, Benvolio desperately tries to avoid an argument with the Capulets. Benvolio's eagerness to flee is shown in the line, 'I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire.' He makes a big effort to persuade Mercutio to go home as the heat will make them very agitated and there will be will a shorter tolerance of each other if they meet the Capulets. Benvolio's explanation of this is shown in the line, 'For now these hot days is the mad blood stirring.' Benvolio believes they would have no chance against the Capulets, as shown in the line, 'And if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl.' In the opening few lines the atmosphere is tense and gives the audience a sense of excitement as they don't know whether the Capulets are going to turn up or if Mercutio and Benvolio will leave to avoid an argument. ...read more.

Middle

Contrastingly in the new version, Romeo totally backed down and did not defend himself, and this led to Mercutio having to risk his own life to protect Romeo. Tybalt and Mercutio did not use any weapons, apart from themselves and the fight stayed in the same place. A tense moment was when Tybalt landed in some glass and shattered it, and picked up a piece and went for Mercutio deliberately, unlike in the old version where the injuring of Mercutio was an accident. Mercutio was to blame for the fight happening in the older version compared to the newer version where Tybalt started it. I found the newer version more successful as it was more unpredictable and weapon was more imaginative, but I liked the way Zeffirelli made the fight travel and have levels. Mercutio doesn't realise how deep his injury is and jokes about how it is only minor, but it's enough and therefore they will find him dead tomorrow. This is shown in the line, 'No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man.' In the newer version he puts on a brave face until he lifts his shirt to show the wound, his face displays an expression of terror and fear. The camera does a close-up on the wound and then onto Mercutios face. This makes the wound look devastatingly painful and therefore makes the audience feel a sense of dread, fear and sympathy for Mercutio. The wind then picks up which adds tension and drama. In the older version, Mercutio is laughed at by the crowd. He doesn't look at the wound as in the newer version, but covers it with a handkerchief. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was because there were no courts to take your case to four hundred years ago. The best way to take revenge on a criminal was to challenge them to a duel. An Elizabethan audience wouldn't react as bad to the extent as a 21st Century would. I think this because of the revenge code and that they would expect people to take revenge and that it might lead to a death. I feel the technology of the time and the period each film was made in would make a big difference in the way it would affect an audience. In the new film, better technology and skills were available and its modernisation let it relate to the audience of today. For example its setting, changing it from a square to a beach and using guns instead of swords. The sound effects were a strength as it adds to creating an atmosphere, and the way the weather could change very quickly when something bad happened. Luhrmann also showed the loyalty between the family members without saying it in a speech. He uses the family crest on the butt of their guns. I feel the old version didn't show this loyalty. An Elizabethan audience would prefer the first film because it's more to their era, just like the new version is more to mine. The added sound and light affects added to the new films effectiveness and the way it successfully played with its audience's emotions and feelings. I prefer the newer version as its more updated and the effects are far better than the old film, even though it showed more tradition. Both films have their own strengths, but my favourite comes down to the era it was filmed in and the way I can relate to it. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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