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Comparing how Themes are represented in Baz Luhrmann's Production of Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare's Original Play

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Introduction

´╗┐The Theme of Love in 'Romeo and Juliet' William Shakespeare presents love in different forms. He presents loving family loyalty whenever rivals brawl to protect family honour. Baz Luhrmann sets the civil brawl in a petrol station ? unlike Shakespeare?s setting ? symbolising the situation?s volatility; Tybalt ignites petrol by dropping his cigarette, thus representing the spark that ignites the brawl. Shakespeare later shows Tybalt's strong family loyalty: ?Now by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin.? Tybalt must passionately love Capulets, to risk his life and kill someone, for family honour. Shakespeare portrays love between rivals when Lady Montague commands Montague: ?Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe...? thus protecting Capulets. Capulet protects Romeo from Tybalt: ?I would not for the wealth of all this town Here in my house do him disparagement;? Shakespeare?s Romeo was uninvited, so Capulet protecting him suggests stronger love between rivals than depicted in Luhrmann?s film. Shakespeare and Luhrmann present paternal love when Romeo?s parents fret about him and when Capulet protects Juliet from an arranged marriage. Unrequited love features between Romeo and Rosaline then Paris and Juliet. ?Out of her favour where I am in love?, shows Rosaline does not reciprocate Romeo?s love. ...read more.

Middle

Upon realising Romeo?s name, Juliet says: ?My only love sprung from my only hate...? showing love?s relationship with hate. In Shakespeare's play - unlike Luhrmann's film - Paris and Romeo fight because they love Juliet, so love and hate are more intertwined. In Shakespeare?s death scene, Romeo says: ?Forgive me cousin (Tybalt)?, showing that, although Romeo hated Tybalt for killing Mercutio, love for Tybalt vanquished hate for him, depicting love as a stronger force; Shakespeare shows love conquering hatred again, when love replaces family enmity: ?O brother Montague, give me (Capulet) thy hand.? In Luhrmann?s film, love never conquers hatred, so is less dominant. Upon hearing of Juliet?s death, Romeo recognises fate or ?stars? control him: ?I defy you stars?, Shakespeare means Romeo will kill himself, thus defying his fate, which Romeo believes is to lose Juliet. ?World-wearied flesh? and ?Shake the yoke of inauspicious stars? shows Romeo cannot live without Juliet, so encourages fate to pull him faster towards death and his fate. Romeo predicts a tragic outcome of the party: ?Some consequence yet hanging in the stars?. ?He that hath steerage of my course Direct my sail...? shows a conscience controls his fate. After killing Tybalt, Romeo personifies this conscience as ?Fortune?: ?I am fortune?s fool...? suggesting Fortune betrayed him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Love and death are also connected in Shakespeare?s play, by contrasting light and dark, when Romeo describes the brightness of his lover: ?her (Juliet?s) beauty makes This vault a feasting presence full of light?, then the darkness of the deathly tomb: ?This place of dim light?. In Luhrmann?s Balcony scene, light symbolises Juliet and love, but there is no contrast between her light and the dark of the tomb; weakening the connection between light and dark. The link between love and death is further emphasised in Shakespeare?s death scene, when Juliet lovingly describes means of killing herself: ?Happy dagger? and ?Friendly drop?. This shows Juliet would love to die and emphasises the connection between love and death; because, in Luhrmann?s death scene, she only says: ?Friendly drop?, the connection between love and death appears weaker. Romeo personifies Death in the death scene: ?Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath?, identifying Death as a conscience. He then ponders why Death took Juliet: ?Shall I believe that unsubstantial Death is amorous And ... keeps Thee here in the dark to be his paramour?? This rhetorical question suggests Death killed Juliet because he loved her; this quotation and the next emphasise links between love and death. ?Seal with a righteous kiss A dateless bargain to engrossing Death...? means when kissing Juliet, Romeo seals a bargain that he would die for her love. ...read more.

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