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Focusing on act 3, scene 5 'The turning point' how and why have the directors of the different versions of the play portrayed Juliet in the way they have?

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Introduction

Carly Hill 16th September 2002 Focusing on act 3, scene 5 'The turning point' how and why have the directors of the different versions of the play portrayed Juliet in the way they have? I have been looking at act 3, scene 5 'The turning point' in different filmed versions of the play Romeo and Juliet. I looked at three different versions, these are the Dicaprio version, Zeffirelli version and the Shakespeare shorts version. The purpose of me writing this essay is to discuss how and why different directors have portrayed Juliet in the way they have, I will also discuss how close their portrayals of her are to my own understanding of her character. The Dicaprio version shows a more modern version of the play. Juliet is portrayed as a more independent woman rather than the innocent child like Juliet we see in the other versions. When she is trying to persuade Romeo not to leave her she teases him, pulls him close but then pushes him away, this shows she does not feel the need to chase after him as she is sure he will return to her. The relationship we see between them show they have more of a partnership than relationship which again refers to the modern day setting as a marriage in Shakespeare's time would not have been so much of an equal relationship as the women were usually more dominated by their husband. ...read more.

Middle

Capulet enters the room in a rage and again Juliet's reaction is different to the Dicaprio version, she is not as strong a character and instead of shouting back she is quite powerless and falls to the floor still crying. She scrambles from person to person hoping for some positive response from someone. She hides behind her bed as she feels safe trying to escape her father's anger at her. When her nurse turns her back on her she is quite frustrated, she is very shocked, her nurse was her last person to turn to and she is hurt that she doesn't see her side anymore. In the Shakespeare shorts version Juliet is played by a n afro Caribbean actress and the setting on a Caribbean island this is not that traditional as it doesn't refer to classical Italian landscapes of Shakespeare's Verona. However Juliet is portrayed in slightly a traditional way. When Juliet tries to persuade Romeo not to leave her they don't really talk much just lay on the bed holding each other, This shows Juliet doesn't want to let go of her lover. Juliet is yet again showed in a white gown referring to her innocence as in all three versions. The music used in the background of this scene is the sound of a drum, this is quite an exotic song which seems to fit in with the tropical island setting used in this version. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would direct the actor playing Juliet to be a quiet, lovesick young girl around Romeo, following his every move showing her true love for him and begging him not to leave her. Although I would direct Juliet to act very stubbornly towards her father, as I don't think she deserves to be treated the way she has been. She should use a stronger tone of voice when talking to her father and dealing with his rage but still be very scared and nervous. She would scatter about the room pleading for help from someone. The portrayal of Juliet I prefer is the Dicaprio version. I prefer this version because it is more modern. The other two versions are more traditional and refer to Shakespeare's time a little more but I found the Dicaprio version was more interesting and kept my attention more. I also prefer this version because I enjoyed watching the way Juliet was directed to stand up for herself and shout back at her father as I believe it is right to have a say in your life. Although I do prefer the Dicaprio version of the play, after looking at all three versions and looking at all different aspects of Juliet's character like her tone of voice, costume and the way she has been directed to act in the scene. I think the way Juliet was portrayed in the Zeffirelli version was most like my understanding of her character. ...read more.

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