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Examine how Act 1, Scene 5 from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' has been adapted for a modern cinema audience

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Introduction

Jay Shah Examine how Act 1, Scene 5 from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' has been adapted for a modern cinema audience The play 'Romeo and Juliet' was written by William Shakespeare over 400 years ago and is still a popular story in modern times. It's a Shakespeare tragedy with all the usual characteristics such as love, hate and death. It tells the story of two young people who fall in love at first sight, only to find that their families are sworn enemies! There is great conflict between both families and the young lovers - from separate families, have to hide their relationship from their parents. This story works in a modern film because it is still something that happens in society today, and is often the theme of popular soaps such as "Eastenders" and "Coronation Street". In the Lurhmann production, Leonardo de Caprio and Claire Danes star as the 'star-crossed' lovers. The story has all the ingredients to make a modern blockbuster. For example, in Baz Lurhmann's version, he uses guns, car chases, lights, music and the fast delivery of Shakespeare's text to create a best selling movie. The play opens with a fight between servants belonging to the Capulets and the Montagues. Romeo is not involved because he is lovesick over Rosaline, a relation of Capulet. ...read more.

Middle

It is clever how Baz Luhrman uses music in the film and how it affects the way we feel. The costumes played a big part in Romeo and Juliet. All throughout the play the costumes gave us an idea of the type of person and the mood they were in. Act 1 scene 5 was when we most saw the characters personalities through their costumes. The party was a fancy dress. Romeo went as a knight in shining Armour; it was basic and had no colour. This shows that Romeo is a prince; Juliet also calls him a prince later on in the film. Juliet on the other hand, dresses like an angel because she's young, angelic and because of the way she looks. She's innocent because she's still a little child. In Act 1 scene 5 Romeo sees Juliet from a distance and falls in love with her at first sight. When Romeo talks to Juliet, Juliet falls in love with him. It is true love. In the play, Romeo's response to seeing Juliet is instant - she literally dazzles him and it comes out in his language. When Romeo sees Juliet, he speaks about her using a metaphor: 'She doth teach the torches to burn bright' (Act 1 scene 5 line 43). ...read more.

Conclusion

Luhrman picked him because he had already been in films before so he was familiar and obviously had some fans that would go and see the film because he was in it. He is also very confident and very good-looking. These things always attract more people to see the film, especially teenagers. Claire Danes played the part of Juliet. She was not very well known before the film but was picked as she had a familiar face and had 'the girl next door' look about her. She was attractive but not as a Hollywood star looks like. I think Luhrman picked her because of her having a familiar face; it could remind the audience of someone they know. Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes (Romeo and Juliet) look good together and look like a good couple. This makes the story line easier to believe and more romantic. They are also very convincing and make the story believable. Baz Lurhmann has made a good adaptation from Shakespeare's version to a modern cinema version by a constant change in colour, light, sound and movement allows the viewer to remain interested and to give them a taste of the rest of the film. Also the music and sound is an important tool in exciting the interests of the audience. Baz Lurhmann uses sounds such as the opera music to add tension and he alters the music with certain scenes to help the viewer understand the importance of that particular part of a scene. ...read more.

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