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Discuss, analyse and compare the original script of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Act One, scene five with Baz Luhrmann's 1997 film version of the same scene.

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Introduction

Pre 1914 Written Drama Coursework Romeo and Juliet In this essay I aim to discuss, analyse and compare the original script of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Act One, scene five with Baz Luhrmann's 1997 film version of the same scene. 'Romeo and Juliet' is set in Verona, Italy, and is believed to have been written around the late sixteenth century. The timing and setting of the play would therefore suggest that costume, music and setting traditional to the time would be used. On the other hand, Baz Luhrmann has taken a very different approach to the interpretation of the play. This version is made to appeal to the modern audience and so has adopted all the elements of any other high budget, Hollywood blockbuster. The film is set in the created world of Verona Beach, taking on a typical American, Hollywood feel with skyscrapers and other modern buildings lining the streets of the city. The fast pace, good-looking actors, and many twits to the story also add to that modern day, blockbuster feel. 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays telling the tale of two teenagers from rival families (the Capulets and the Montagues) who fall in love. As the story unfolds, tragedy is all that awaits the couple, eventually leading to their own suicides. ...read more.

Middle

the feast has ended and the ball about to take place. As the Luhrmann version is filmed it is already clear that the scene has changed, there is no need to explain things to the viewers. We see the ball introduced in the in the next section of the scene, as Lord Capulet makes a speech to welcome his guests, unaware that Montague's are amongst them. Capulet begins his speech by talking about corns. In today's society this would not be something spoken about, especially not in a speech to guests at a party as it is considered, now, a revolting subject and therefore people do not wish to hear about it. Capulet's reference to corns is a jovial one, he is saying that if he sees any woman not dancing then he shall assume they have corns on their feet. "CAPULET : ... She that makes dainty, She I'll swear hath corns... " The next part of Capulet's speech is possibly the most ironic. It is here that he refers to the men wearing masks, little knowing that many of them are Montagues, his enemies. " CAPULET : ... I have seen the day That I have worn a visor and could tell A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please... " Here he is remembering his youth and how he was able to flirt with woman without them knowing who he was. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again living up to the party's over the top standards the outside of the house shows red banners hanging from the windows of the house and strings of white lights entwined in the leaves of the palm trees in the garden. We see Romeo and his friends arrive, then as they pass the bouncers on the doors. Romeo presents them with an invitation, needed for them to gain entry into the party, which was, I assume, given to him by Mercutio as Romeo himself is an enemy to the Capulets and would not therefore have been able to acquire one himself. It becomes apparent to the viewer here that Romeo has taken some sort of drug. This is shown by the camera being slightly blurred and in slow motion, showing perhaps, Romeo's drug induced state; not being able to focus and unable to function at a normal speed. This is confirmed as Romeo arrives inside the party and whispers the words; " Thy drugs are quick." This extract is, in fact, in the original script, however it is not seen until Act five, scene three, in reference to the poison that Romeo takes to end his life. This shows how Luhrmann has stuck to the original script however has just re-arranged it slightly to live up to modern day expectations, as it were, before a party is a much more modern idea, reflecting the actions of many of today's youths. ...read more.

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