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Discuss this statement in relation to the prologue and Act 1 Scene 5 analysing the interpretations of the play as offered by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli.

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Introduction

'Romeo and Juliet' is a tragic love story and as such the audience need to be convinced that the characters of Romeo and Juliet are in love and that fate works against them. Discuss this statement in relation to the prologue and Act 1 Scene 5 analysing the interpretations of the play as offered by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli. In this essay I am going to discuss the different interpretations of Shakespeare's tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet and how fate works against them. It is such a tragedy as they knew their love would never be accepted and end up taking their lives. During the play fate works against them from the beginning and begins to get worse. "Whose misadventured piteous overthrows", this shows us that once things had started to go wrong pity and sadness takes over their life. In the 1600's a lot was blamed on fate, as the technology wasn't as advanced as it is today, many disasters such as unexpected deaths were said to be because of fate. Many Elizabethan's were largely interested in the stars and astrology and put lots of their faith into fate. Another thing that happened in Elizabethan time was that many people did not marry for love. ...read more.

Middle

As Romeo talks to him self about Juliet's beauty Tybalt Capulet hears and straight away recognises his voice and with great anger goes to confront him. However on the way he bumps into Capulet and tells him of Romeos presence, Capulet demands that Tybalt should let Romeo be, as he doesn't want to ruin his party. This part of the play is important as it starts a chain reaction to many more disasters that accrue later on in the play such as the fight that leads to Rome's best friend, Mecutio's death also the banishment of Romeo. Act 1 Scene 5 is such an important part in the play as this is when the lover's first encounter takes place. The first words that pass Romeo and Juliet's lips are about committing a sin, kissing. I think Juliet starts to fall for Romeo after kissing him as she gives him a compliment "You kiss by th'book" By this I think she is saying that he kisses like someone out of a fairytale. After more kissing the two get pulled apart by Juliet's nurse, Romeo sees another chance to find out the origin of his new love, however he does not like the outcome, this is another reason why this scene is very important. ...read more.

Conclusion

However I do understand that Zeffirelli may have set a different target audience and that the technology wasn't as advanced as it is today. I feel that Baz Luhrmann did a great job of modernising one of the most famous and oldest plays of all time and keeping the old English language also of maintaining teenagers interest. I think that if Shakespeare could have seen Luhrmann's interpretation he would be very pleased to see how other people see his play and how much of a success him, his play and the film was and are. In conclusion fate is a big factor in Romeo and Juliet's relationship, which we are told right at the beginning in the prologue. Out of the two interpretations Franco Zeffirelli kept his version very traditional whereas Baz Luhrmann made his very modern which is shown throughout the film. I looked especially at Shakespeare's prologue and Act 1 Scene 5 where the lovers first meet also at the different interpretations. Act 1 Scene 5 is such an important part in the play as this is when the lovers first meet and realise there love for each other, also when they find out who their love really is. I think that Luhrmann's interpretation is the better of the two and think that Shakespeare would be proud to see how famous it has become. ...read more.

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