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Examine Shakespeare's portrayal of the themes of love and conflict in Romeo and Juliet. Discuss how the themes are communicated in the original play and in Baz Lurhmann's film version. Refer in detail to at least three scenes.

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Introduction

Examine Shakespeare's portrayal of the themes of love and conflict in Romeo and Juliet. Discuss how the themes are communicated in the original play and in Baz Lurhmann's film version. Refer in detail to at least three scenes. Romeo and Juliet, a tragic story of love and conflict, by William Shakespeare, is among the most famous of the plays he has written. Since the first performance at the end of the 16th Century, it has been reworked in ballet, opera, music, fiction and film (Baz Lurhmann's film) and is still a constant presence in modern culture. The story was first written by, Masuccio Salernitano, an Italian, in 1476 and later by Arthur Brook, an English poet. Brook's, The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet was the main source of the play by Shakespeare, despite the fact it had been rewritten several times by Italian and French authors. Love and conflict has remained the main theme of the story that dominates the play. I will be examining the portrayal, by Shakespeare, of the themes of love and conflict in the play, whilst referring to the historical, social and cultural content of the era the play was set in, in order to discuss how they are communicated in, Lurhmann's film of the play. Shakespeare's prologue introduces you to the story and uses an ancient Greek device (the Chorus) which Shakespeare uses rarely. The Chorus tells us the facts of the feud and that the play ends with Romeo and Juliet's death. ...read more.

Middle

The fight starts which is in the Spaghetti Western style. To portray the 'heat' of the conflict and Tybalt's flamboyant characteristic, he sets the gas station on fire. This then leads to the appearance of the Prince who is a Police Chief in the film (both the 16th century Prince and the 20th century police chief share the same roles) As in the play there is a sudden contrast of the scene when the fight ends. When Romeo and Benvolio talk about Romeo being out of love, on a chalkboard the name of his love, Rosaline, is written with a love heart underneath, with Cupid's arrow through it suggesting Romeo's love for Rosaline as she is not present in the play or film so this is the representation of her. In Act I Scene 5, language is used strongly to create the imagery which is needed in this scene and to emphasise the love of Romeo and Juliet. With the meeting of Romeo and Juliet, their love is immediately emphasised with a sonnet (the strongest form of love poetry). The sonnet is spoken by both Romeo and Juliet (a sonnet was normally spoken by a man to a woman). There is a lot of religious words in the sonnet, for example 'saint', 'sin', 'holy' and 'prayer'. Tybalt is also in this scene. His words are in the theme of conflict. He speaks of wanting to kill Romeo but due to Capulet being there he has to hold back, but he does say, 'I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall'. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Benvolio says, 'The Capels are abroad', the Capulet's car drives past to signify their presence. Mercutio is agitated when Tybalt mentions Romeo. Benvolio acts as the peacemaker by trying to restrain Mercutio and Tybalt taunts him. When Romeo arrives, dramatic irony is present because the audience know the reason why Romeo can't fight but the other characters are unaware. When Mercutio is stabbed with a piece of glass, the wind starts to pick up. This is Lurhmann using Pathetic Fallacy. Even though Mercutio is dying he still uses a pun, 'Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch', which is showing that the seriousness has not left yet. As Mercutio dies and makes his curse upon the houses, the wind becomes strong and dark clouds appear. This portrays the loss of humour and that darkness will follow. After Romeo shoots Tybalt, it starts raining heavily. The rain represents the tears of Romeo, Tybalt's family and friends. Therefore Lurhmann has interpreted Shakespeare's ideas of anger 'mad blood stirring' and sorrow 'O, I am fortune's fool!' by using the weather After analyzing three scenes of the play Romeo and Juliet, the themes of Conflict and Love can indeed lead to tragedy. Shakespeare presents these themes using language to create imagery while Lurhmann presents the themes visually with lighting, sound and Pathetic Fallacy. I feel that the film version is the most effective way of communicating Love & Tragedy because you can see what is happening and Pathetic Fallacy can be used to a great extent to show the feelings and moods of the characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Josh Hancock 10S Mrs Abercrombie ...read more.

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