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GCSE: Romeo and Juliet

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  1. Who or what do you consider to be most responsible for the tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet?

    The character who I would say is least responsible is Mercutio. He could be held responsible because if he had not duelled with Tybalt he would not have been killed. This led to Romeo killing Tybalt and being banished. Mercutio started by laughing at Tybalt, which angers him. When Romeo enters the scene Tybalt insults him by calling him a 'villain' 'No better term than this - thou art a villain.' This means that Tybalt is calling Romeo a peasant, which is a great insult to a man of noble birth like Romeo.

    • Word count: 1892
  2. How has Baz Luhrmann made ‘Romeo and Juliet’ accessible and interesting for a young contemporary audience?

    He has used many different methods to achieve this, the biggest point is that now, Romeo and Juliet, a classic story, is set in contemporary America. Luhrmann has used many technical film methods, types of editing, sound tracks, length and angles of shots, and special effects. But he has also, short of rewriting the script, completely transformed the play, into this dazzling film. He has changed parts of the plot, cut out large portions of text and even swapped members of the households around.

    • Word count: 3075
  3. A comparison of two productions of Romeo and Juliet.

    In Zeffirrelli's film they stick exactly to the script of Shakespeare's play. Zeffarrelli's film used 16th century costume. The music in his film was a piece of music taken from one of Shakespeare's sonnets; the tune was slowed down for sad parts and sped up in happy parts. In Luhrmann's film the dress is modern and so is the music, love songs for sad parts and rock music for fight scenes and comedy scenes. The camera angles were very different, Luhrmann used lots of birds eye view shots, like in the tomb of Juliet where he shows the two lovers dead side by side.

    • Word count: 730
  4. Romeo and Juliet

    In Luhrmann's film Romeo suddenly notices Tybalt standing there with his associates, with blood shut eyes and an evil grin on his face he speaks, "Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford no better term than this; thou art a villain". Romeo is astonished when Tybalt calls Romeo a villain and responds: "Tybalt the reason that I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage to such a greeting. A villain am I none". This quotation shows that Romeo has faith in peace and love.

    • Word count: 1161
  5. Discussing the presentation of Mercutio in Act 3 Scene 1 of “Romeo & Juliet”. Comparing and Contrasting 2 different film versions portraying Mercutio in this scene

    and in the Lurhman film it is created by the music it is very dramatic music and makes you think that something bad is going to happen. Mercutio's response to Benvolio trying to tell him to get off the streets and warning him that the Capulets are coming shows us that he is very stubborn and ignorant, when Benvolio says "By my heart here come the Capulets" when Tybalt and the rest of the Capulets show up, Mercutio replies "By my heel I care not".

    • Word count: 764
  6. Versions of Romeo and Juliet

    Zefferelli's can offer the background clothes and language used in his version. Lurhman's it again modern in his version. In his version they use props and clothes that we use today. The buildings in Zefferelli's are palaces and castles and are replaced by buildings and office blocks. The costumes and props used in Zefferellie's film the period i.e swords and daggers and period clothing. Lurhman's they replaced swords with guns as well as replacing horses with cars. Costumes where what we wear today. The music in each version are what you would hear in that time.

    • Word count: 674
  7. Act 1 establishes that the play is full of opposites, extremes, contrasting atmospheres and emotions. Explain how these are illustrated in Act 1 and what effect they have on the characters and their actions. Refer to text in detail.

    The tone drastically changes when two Montague's enter the scene, which emphasises the extremes of Act1. Shakespeare uses a serious tone to emphasise that the grudge between the two families is in all generations as Sampson urges Gregory to quarrel with the Montague's for example ' Quarrel, I will back thee.' Sampson insults Abram, a member of the Montague family, by saying ' I will bite my thumb at them' Abram is extremely offended by this and the insult progresses until they are ready to draw their swords. Benvolio enters and shows a strong side of his character when he acts as the peacemaker when he says ' Part, fools!

    • Word count: 2207
  8. How does Baz Luhrmann make a successful interpretation of Romeo and Juliet for a modern audience?

    Then a woman becomes visible who appears to be a newsreader. She speaks in the style of a newsreader yet her news is the prologue. She uses exact lines from the original prologue that gives a brief outline of the film. Although the words she is speaking are Shakespearian it is clear what she means. She mentions the 'ancient grudge' and one of the lines sum up the film yet it could easily be missed by the first-time viewer; "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life". The newsreader is black; this gives it a contemporary feel as it gives the impression of a multicultural society.

    • Word count: 2202
  9. With Reference to at least three dramatically Important moments in the play, explain how Shakespeare achieves dramatic impact in order To capture the interest of his audience.

    until he sees Juliet, but completely forgets about when he falls completely in "love" with Juliet, but it isn't "true love," just physical attraction. The first meeting of Romeo and Juliet is written as a sonnet. All the important scenes in the play are written as poetry, which emphasises the key moments. Having them as poetry would have appealed to the audience of the time; people of the Elizabethan period would have been able to relate to the poetry in Romeo and Juliet because sonnet writing was a popular and highly appreciated, and enjoyed activity at Queen Elizabeth's court.

    • Word count: 1246
  10. Anne and Juliet: Strong or Not so Strong, that is the Question

    Juliet understands that Romeo is an individual and she will judge his character accordingly. Juliet is practical, despite falling in love at first sight of Romeo. While he whispers sweet nothings to her late at night she wonders how he climbed the high walls of the orchard and points out the dangers of him being there, "the orchard walls are high and hard to climb, and the place death , considering who thou art, if any of my kinsman find thee here," She knows she is falling in love with him, "I must confess, but that thou overheardst, ere I was ware, my true-love passion" but she is also intelligent and sensible "O, swear

    • Word count: 1391
  11. Explore the dramatic effect of Act 3 Scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet. In what ways can it be seen as a turning point in the play?

    From this scene onwards the plot thickens and events become increasingly tense. This scene has a vivid dramatic effect on the rest of the play. The opening of Act 3, Scene 1 is a very lighthearted affair. Benvolio and Mercutio, Montague's kinsmen, are arguing in a public place in Verona. In comparison it is very similar to the beginning of Act 1, Scene 1 that entails Sampson and Gregory arguing, as do Benvolio and Mercutio. In contrast Sampson and Gregory are Capulets, whereas Benvolio and Mercutio are not.

    • Word count: 3205
  12. “Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love”. Explore the different types of love presented in Romeo and Juliet in Act 1 of the play.

    His language reinforces to the audience that his feelings are not of true love, perhaps just infatuation. As he uses fanciful imagery and rhyming couplets, it is hard for the audience to take his feelings seriously. As the play continues, Romeo's feelings for Rosaline change dramatically at his first glimpse of Juliet. He is entranced by her beauty, saying "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" and this hyperbole reinforces the extravagance of his feelings for her. This is also a metaphor, and this language is very different to the language he used when speaking of Rosaline.

    • Word count: 1311
  13. How does Shakespeare show Juliet's character change and develop in Romeo and Juliet?

    There are many oxymorons used in this passage; "O brawling love, O loving hate,/ O any thing of nothing first create!" These contradictory words interest the audience and catch their attention. Romeo is a soft and gentle character throughout the beginning of the play. He is calm and dislikes fighting and quarrelling. However if threatened he is assertive and will not stand down from what he believes in. he will not be stopped from doing what matters to him, this often being seeing Juliet.

    • Word count: 3203
  14. Romeo and Juliet

    Or in other terms it is a fight that spans generations and was probably over nothing in the first place. The movie shows a lot of the 90's whilst relating to the old Shakespeare themes and ideas with present day scenery and technology i.e. all of the church scenes would be very similar to the original but on the streets during the fight scenes, the story and the scenery were modified without actually changing the words, for instance the name of the guns that the characters used

    • Word count: 507
  15. Romeo and Juliet - The Prologue

    The story is, of course, about a pair of star-crossed lovers. Two teenagers pursue their love for each other despite the fact that their families have been feuding with each other for decades. The story combines swordfighting, disguise, misunderstanding, tragedy, humor, and some of the most romantic language found in literature all in the name of true love. In Verona, Italy in the late 1500's, two powerful families the Montagues and the Capulets have been feuding with each other for years.

    • Word count: 2833
  16. Examine two film versions of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, focusing on the balcony scene, compare how the directors have translated the play to the screen and state your preference.

    The swimming pool in Lurhmann's film would probably have been the equivalent to the orchard in Juliet's garden in Zeffirelli's traditional version. In the traditional version Romeo enters the Capulet garden surrounded by foliage and this shows the risk that Romeo is taking by entering the garden because the shrubbery acts as a camouflage, hiding Romeo from anyone who would be in the garden. However in the modern version Romeo enters the garden by climbing over a wall and then creeps across the poolside trying to hide from the security cameras.

    • Word count: 1326
  17. Analyse Shakespeare’s use of dramatic devices in Act 5 Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet with reference to the socio-historical context of the play.

    This incident occurs for that sole purpose, so that the audience are surprised and therefore, wonder that will happen next, which leads to tension and suspense. Much later in Act 3 Scene 1, long after the first duel, there are two deaths due to fighting. Mercutio, Romeo's best friend dies because of Tybalt: "O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead." Then later, there is more conflict when Romeo seeks his revenge upon Tybalt and duels with him: Tybalt says, "Thou wretched boy, that didst consort him here, shalt with him hence."

    • Word count: 1952
  18. Romeo and Juliet – Act 1 scene 5

    Although he does nothing but talk, the idea of business is continued on from the servants as Capulet acts as a commentator to the action. "You are welcome gentlemen. Come, musicians play. A hall, a hall, give room! And foot it girls. More light, you knaves, and turn the tables up; and quench the fire, the room is grown too hot..." He switches quickly between commands and conversation to lots of different people so that even though he is the only one talking the impression of lots of things happening at once is continued as he tries to get the party started.

    • Word count: 1607
  19. “Romeo and Juliet is immortal through the poetry of the lovers meeting”. Imagine that you are responsible for directing the play.

    Juliet would wear a green grown, as mentioned in the scene. As it is the garden balcony, I would include a lot of pink and red flowers as to enhance the romantic nature of the scene. Romeo continues to flatter Juliet by saying that her eyes are like stars in heaven, and her cheeks only exceed their brightness. He also says she is " a winged messenger of heaven". Of course by this he is comparing Juliet to an angel, a good use of simile and comparison. During all this flattery the light is slowly rising.

    • Word count: 1174
  20. Did Shakespeare intend his audience to see the deaths of Romeo and Juliet as inevitable?

    Shakespeare suggests that the love of Romeo and Juliet was doomed to fail from the start. I think he suggests this because at the beginning of the play he introduces the ideas of deaths by fate to the audience and makes regular references to this throughout the play. Shakespeare describes the love of Romeo and Juliet as "death marked" and fated by the stars. The time when Romeo and Juliet was set in was in the Medieval era and the audience would believe in fate and so backup the idea of people being fated to die.

    • Word count: 1480
  21. “Romeo and Juliet” is a romantic tragedy

    Act 2 Scene 2 Line 55-56 A major issue that the play deals with is the question, "what is love?", the consequences of a grudge and fate. Love in the play conquers all because even though two lives are lost, love vanquishes the hate between the Capulets and Montagues. Also, Romeo and Juliet's love for each other makes them want to kill themselves, so they did not die for an evil reason. I think that the whole play stems from the power and influence of love because it is about different aspects of love.

    • Word count: 1078
  22. Study Romeo and Juliet in the play that takes their names. Do you think that their deaths were inevitable because of the sorts of personalities they had? Which lover do you think is the most vividly depicted?

    We find out that Romeo is desperately in love with a Capulet, Rosaline who does not return his love, he is feeling confused gloomy and upset. He compares being in love to being mad or in prison: 'Not mad, but bound more than a madman is; shut up in prison, kept without my food, whipped and tormented, and-Godden good fellow.' He also feels mixed up because love to him is like a religion and anyone who denies it is a non-believer.

    • Word count: 4809
  23. Romeo and Juliet - Was the tragedy brought by an overwhelming fate, or did individuals bring it upon themselves?

    He uses the word 'deny', which is a strong word that shows his determination. The friar also refers to fate on stage: Friar Laurence 'Oh! Unhappy Fortune' However, Shakespeare only makes the characters who are weak, and unable to acknowledge their own decisions, blame fate. Romeo blames fate all the time throughout the play, rather than his own actions, which he causes. On the other hand, Juliet never blames fate, and identifies factors like haste and the family feud as the causes of the deaths in the families. A modern day audience may disagree and blame it entirely on the individuals- rather than a cruel overwhelming fate as Romeo sees it.

    • Word count: 2423
  24. Were Romeo and Juliet victims of fate, love, society or love?

    Mercutio is teasing Romeo here over his dream of true love and goes through a large over expressed speech to prove that Romeo is just a victim of fate. In the modern film the director, Baz Luhrmann, has shown Queen Mab as a hallucinogenic drug that takes control of Romeo after he says the words, 'On, lusty gentlemen'. The drug takes over Romeo as does fate in the Franco Zeffirelli version and it guides him towards Juliet where when he meets her.

    • Word count: 2291
  25. Focusing on Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet, discuss the different ways in which the directors, Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann have interpreted the text.

    Benvolio and Romeo meet Tybalt and he proposes a fight. Romeo has just married Juliet so refuses as they are related. Mercutio then fights him instead and is killed. Romeo then chases after Tybalt and kills him in revenge. Romeo is then banished from Verona. When Romeo turns Tybalt down you see in the text Romeo uses words like love when Tybalt uses harsher words like villain. Throughout the play the majority of scenes with the Montagues in are in the streets and this scene is directed by Shakespeare to take place in a public place in Verona.

    • Word count: 590

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