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Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

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Romeo & Juliet I will go through my essay scene by scene as I think this is the most effective and more efficient way of comparing the two different versions of the story and thus answering the task question. I will start by giving an introduction of both stories. First of all, the Zefferelli version. His version of the Shakespeare play is set around the time that the play was written by Shakespeare around 1599a.d. Secondly, Baz Luhrman� s version made in the 1990�s and set in the 1990�s. The key scenes I will be studying are: The Opening Act 1 Scene 1 The Ball Act 1 Scene 5 The Balcony Act 2 Scene 2 The Fight Act 3 Scene 1 Ending Act 5 Scene 3 The Opening - Act 1 Scene 1 The opening scene in the Luhrman version is set in a typical U.S gas station. It is a busy and open area, much like the market setting portrayed in the original script, which is also busy. This is very clever of Luhrman because he is trying to modernise the original setting without losing the feeling of an open and busy area. A market square in modern America would be very strange. In the Zefferelli version, the director has tried to replicate the setting and atmosphere of the original, using a typical market square from the time that the play was written, this might seem to the audience as a more 'realistic� version of the play as the film is trying to be more identical to the original play. At the start of the scene in the Luhrman version we see the first of our families, the Montagues. They seem like typical American youngsters having fun in their car with the music turned up. They pull into a gas station and all seems well until the second family arrives, the Capulets. They seem more suave, they are smart looking Latinos, and they seem serious compared to the fun loving colourful Montagues. ...read more.


Drama is also created when she says, "Shall give him such an unaccustomed dram that he shall soon keep Tybalt Company." This is because she is showing her feelings towards Romeo, and saying that if she ever finds him she will kill him and he will join Tybalt in his grave. When Juliet and Lady Capulet are having a conversation of Romeo (line 75-102) there is a use of double entendre by Juliet. This double meaning adds a bit more drama and excitement to this part of the play as the audience know Juliet is talking of her love fore Romeo, whereas her mother thinks she is speaking of Romeo in a disapproving manner. This is the main part of Juliet�s and Lady Capulet�s speeches in those lines which shows the double meanings clearly, Lady Capulet says "That is because the traitor murderer lives." Juliet replies with, "Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands". Lady Capulet also vows to send a man to Mantua to have Romeo killed, "We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not; Then weep no more. I�ll send to one in Mantua". This adds drama as the audience become anxious and excited to see if she carries out her plan and has Romeo killed. Throughout the play, Lady Capulet makes many speeches aimed at Juliet, some of these more vital than others, like sending a man to kill Romeo. It comes to mind that she thinks that Tybalt�s death has affected her the most out of everyone as she does not think he was punished accordingly for the crime committed. Lord Capulet is very temperamental and seems to care a vast amount for the welfare of his only daughter. He creates a lot of drama through the play with his strong and dramatic language. His lines were written to show he is an important figurehead and is in control of everything in the house. ...read more.


She acknowledges the paradoxical situation of her 'only love' sprung from her 'only hate'. By including these lines, Shakespeare increases the tension in the audience by giving a clue as to how the lovers will meet their demise. When Juliet talks to the Nurse after finding out about Romeo's banishment, she again cries out an exclamation based on fate. 'Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems Upon so soft a subject as myself!' This remark demonstrates Juliet's anguish upon hearing of her lover's banishment. She remarks upon 'heaven's stratagems', or in other words, fate. By including these lines, Shakespeare attempts to make the audience pity the doomed couple, especially the innocent, young Juliet, but at the same time realise that their unhappy destiny cannot be changed. Friar Lawrence refers to fate when he is told that Romeo did not receive his vitally important letter. 'Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood, The letter was not nice but full of charge Of dear import...' This quotation displays the worry of the Friar as he realises the disastrous consequences that could unfold if Romeo does not receive his letter in time. Shakespeare could have phrased this sentence differently to place the blame upon the messenger, but instead he expresses it as though it was the fault of fortune. This is a prime example of the beliefs concerning fate in the 16th century. A final example of one of the characters from the play referring to fate is when Friar Lawrence is talking to Juliet shortly before she stabs herself: 'A greater power than we can contradict Hath thwarted our intents.' The 'greater power' that Friar Lawrence refers to is, of course, fate. His statement does not make Juliet feel any better however, as she promptly commits suicide! Shakespeare again chooses to place the blame on a higher power rather than an individual, signifying his desire to make the audience believe that no one person or thing was responsible for the deaths of the young couple but fate. ...read more.

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