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Compare two film versions of Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, written by William Shakespeare. The play takes place in Verona, Italy, where two rivalry families are constantly feuding and disturbing the city's peace. The two children of the quarrelling families, fall in love and are married in secret. Another brawl occurs and in revenge for his best friends death, Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet's cousin. Romeos punishment is not death because Tybalt murdered Mercutio, but Romeo is banished from Verona. Romeo and Juliet, even though they have known each other for just two days, appear to be very much in love with each other. The poetic language which they use reflects this. They share their wedding night together, for what may be the last time as Romeo must leave for Mantua the morning after. At the beginning of Act 3, Scene 3, Juliet is desperate for Romeo to stay. We can see this as she says, 'Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day, It was the nightingale and not the lark that pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear' Here Juliet is trying to persuade Romeo to believe it is still night time so that he will not leave her so early. Yet Romeo is very sensible to Juliet's request, he replies to her, 'I must be gone and live, or stay and die.' Juliet continues to persuade Romeo to stay, 'Yond light is not daylight, I know it' 'Thou needs't not be gone.' ...read more.


When Capulet enters, he alike his wife, think its strange for her to be mourning still over the death of her cousin. 'How now. What a conduit girl? What, still in tears? Evermore showering.' Capulet cannot understand why she should still be crying if she had heard the "good news" and so he asks his wife, 'How now wife! Have you deliver'd to her our decree?' Lady Capulet once again shows an uncaring nature and replies, 'Ay Sir, she will none but she gives you thanks. I would the fool were married to her grave!' This seems extremely cold especially for a mother to say about her child. It also shows some irony, as she cannot really want her daughter to die, but really, because of the marriage plans, Juliet dies at the end of the play. Capulet cannot believe what his wife has just said, he thinks that Juliet is ungrateful and unthankful and not proud. The audience, watching from the Elizabethan period would understand Capulet's feelings, as respect was expected, as was following orders from parents. Capulet says, 'Doth she not count her bless'd, Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought, so worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom?' Here he talks about his daughter infront of her, not as if she was there, as if she was not important. We can see this as Capulet constantly labels Juliet as "she", which is very uncaring and impersonal. ...read more.


Juliet is really going to see Friar Lawrence for help. He is the last person to whom she can turn as one by one the people who she are close to, are neglecting her. Whilst watching Romeo and Juliet by Zeferelli, I noticed that the music played in the background of this scene is all in minor key, which is a tone that is sad. Also the affection between Romeo and Juliet is very great, as when Romeo is about to leave, the couple are constantly kissing and hugging, showing their great love for one another. Capulet does not look at Juliet whilst he talks of her, he is more uncaring and less violent than Capulet in the version by Luhrmann, even though Zeferelli shows Juliet being thrown across the room by her father. Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet, also plays music of a minor key to emphasise Juliet's feeling of loss and hurt. Luhrmann expresses Capulet more violently, as he throws Juliet onto the bed. As the family try to hold him back, he hits his wife and once again pushes Juliet over into the stairs. Juliet's feeling of being isolated is shown, as Juliet is left sat alone after her parents have both deserted her. Also Juliet is shown to be abandoned from the nurse also, when the nurse is running Juliet a bath, she sits alone with the camera on focus of Juliet and the nurse sat in the distance in the background. I thought Luhrmann expressed the feeling of neglect more than Zeferelli, I also liked the way he used Capulet to be aggressive and violent. ...read more.

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