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Examine how two different directors have portrayed Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet". Which is the most faithful to Shakespeare's original?

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Introduction

Romeo & Juliet Course-work Examine how two different directors have portrayed Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet". Which is the most faithful to Shakespeare's original? Criteria: * Show insight about characters and action, language, ideas and themes, context and setting. * Analysis of techniques used to convey meaning. * Responses are supported by references (quotes) Introduction In this essay, I am going to analyse some scenes in Romeo and Juliet. I am going to compare two versions of Romeo and Juliet, one by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968 and the other by Baz Luhrmann in 1996 and conclude/say how I think Shakespeare would have presented his original. These two productions were made a long time apart and hundreds of years after Shakespeare's production, so neither could be one hundred percent faithful to Shakespeare, but they were both very popular. Zeffirelli went for the traditional method and tried to make his production as similar to Shakespeare's as possible but made the film on a larger and more extravagant scale to please the audience at the time. Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet is a very contemporary film aimed purely at today's audience but still with the same dialogue which keeps the originality. This is also similar to Shakespeare but in a different way to Zeffirelli. Its techniques are similar to Shakespeare's as Shakespeare used all the resources available at the time. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare does this with the bawdy banter between Sampson and Gregory when we first enter the scene. This banter leads to the opening conflict in which the main symbol of hate, Tybalt, is first introduced. This scene demands a lot of attention as movement, sound and dialogue are all very important here. Zeffirelli uses the same methods as Shakespeare used in this scene with the Shakespearean dialogue, setting and clothes. He concentrates (in) on the scale of the conflict and spreads the fight (all) throughout the town keeping it very extravagant. As the scene ends with the entrance of the Prince and the declaration from him, you feel that it does not have a big impact and therefore the foresight from the Prince that Romeo will be banished which will lead to his and Juliet's death is lost. Zeffirelli does not concentrate on Tybalt as one of the main characters in this scene. Luhrmann uses the same method as Shakespeare here, concentrating on grabbing the audience's attention but he grabs the attention of his contemporary audience in the way people now want to see it. The other characters are introduced in the petrol station that could represent the market square or the confined area of the stage. Luhrmann really gets the point across of Tybalt representing hate but also being very religious. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the scene, Tybalt and Mercutio fight in a semi-comical manner. You can feel the tension gradually building and know that something is going to happen. When Tybalt stabs Mercutio, Tybalt has a real look of terror on his face which is what Shakespeare tried to achieve. The tension only really spills over when Romeo avenges Mercutio. Zeffirelli uses an action-packed scene to show the impact in Verona in full (plain) view of all the people in the town. Therefore Romeo has gone against the Prince's declaration and so Romeo will undoubtedly be banished. Luhrmann nods towards the original context by using a stage for the main action which reminds you that this was originally shown by Shakespeare. There is a very strong feeling of hatred and danger, especially around Mercutio which shies away from what Shakespeare was trying to achieve. A lot of the dialogue is cut to keep the interest and there are a lot more actions. To keep the scene original and make the words fit, Luhrmann discards the guns as the main weapon and uses the broken mirror to cut Mercutio. Shakespeare's audience would have appreciated the dialogue much more and therefore would have preferred Zeffirelli's version. At the end of this scene, we know that Romeo will be banished and therefore you know that Romeo and Juliet's fate is sealed and their getting together is impossible. ?? ?? ?? ?? Romeo & Juliet Coursework 1 1 ...read more.

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