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English essay: 'Romeo and Juliet' a play written over 400 years ago in a language we cannot understand had nothing to offer a modern audience. Discuss.

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Introduction

Laura Deighton English essay: 'Romeo and Juliet' a play written over 400 years ago in a language we cannot understand had nothing to offer a modern audience. Discuss. Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' was written to be viewed by an audience via stage. But theatre productions have become less popular due to cinema, videos, DVD's and home theatre. It means that for a cheaper cost people can view productions of stories both in public and within their own homes. Theatres of today tend to be portrayed as an occasional evening out, something that is planned and requires booking. Theatres are a lot less common than in Shakespeare's time and people may be put off by the idea of having to travel to them. A Shakespeare play is stereotypical thing to view at a theatre. This may put average working people off, as it is known as a teaching text; and hence for a more intellectual audience. Theatre's are also very different from those in Shakespearean England, they are no longer noisy, smelly and hectic places, but peaceful, furbished, with a relaxed atmosphere. Today's theatre audiences applaud the actors/esses and remain silent through the production. ...read more.

Middle

In all modern day productions, especially films there is always a character the audience are intended to hate, they are usually portrayed as being ugly, often with disfigurations, it is the same in 'Romeo and Juliet', although Tybalt may be seen as a type of ladies' man, many portrayals of him have shown him in a evil form. The concept of hate is another thing a modern audience enjoy; due to this 'Romeo and Juliet' may be seen to have elements to appeal to a modern audience. 'Romeo and Juliet' is known for being a tragic love story and love is still very much in modern films, as well as in modern theatre productions, such as; 'The Moulin Rouge' and 'Guys and Dolls'. 'Romeo and Juliet' contains many different forms of love. From lust, "to merit bliss by making me despair," shows how the lust and want for someone is brought over in 'Romeo and Juliet'. Family love and loyalty is another example of love in 'Romeo and Juliet', "right glad I am that he was not at this fray" and "the quarrel is between our masters and us their men," both quotes show how relations between different character and families are built up by the caring and emotion shown in their words. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Romeo and Juliet' contains sword fights, "put up thy sword," shows this. Yet sword fights do not happen in modern society. But Baz Luhrman's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' used the usage of guns, with the name of swords, representing a more modern approach. Yet having said that, 'The mask of Zorro' was a very popular film, which included sword, fights. Theatre productions of 'Romeo and Juliet' still occur, yet these do not tend to appeal to a large modern day audience. Several films have been made of 'Romeo and Juliet'; this may put modern film producers off, as a modern audience may seek an original text. Overall the majority of people would probably agree that 'Romeo and Juliet' still offers entertainment, through both theatre and film. Personally I would not go and see a version of 'Romeo and Juliet' at the cinema as a film, mainly because I associate the cinema as a relaxed fun place to be, the play doesn't offer me that sense of environment, yet I would consider going to see a stage version, as it seems a classic but suitable way to view the play. Yet some elements of it have become dated and who can say what the future will bring? ...read more.

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