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Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrman offer the cinema audience a very different interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Using Act 3 Scene 1 discuss these two interpretations in terms of whether they have made the original text more acc

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Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrman offer the cinema audience a very different interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Using Act 3 Scene 1 discuss these two interpretations in terms of whether they have made the original text more accessible. You need to take into consideration the historical context and audience for which all three were intended Romeo and Juliet is about " two star-crossed lovers " whose fortunes do not meet. These two lovers are from two opposing families that are in civil confrontation. It is an endearing love story in which fate and impetuous actions leads not only to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet but also, the deaths of people around them. From the start of the play, we are at a disadvantage because the language is contemporary to Shakespearean time. This makes it difficult for a modern day audience to access. Language evolves and we now have a somewhat different vocabulary. For example, the word awful meant full of God but it now has negative connotations as we think of the awful as being terrible. In addition, words like sweet and phat in the 21st century have positive connotations yet sometime ago they would not. Both directors bring the play to life because it is hard to understand a play flat of a page. From watching the play in a film version we can understand a lot from facial expressions and body language. In addition, plays are supposed to be acted out to an audience. ...read more.


This setting makes the play more accessible because we are use to seeing these settings as they are modern settings in the 21st century. The Zeffirelli version does not use high profile actors. Also the actors speak slowly and in the correct accent and use language true to the text. Baz Luhrman also sticks to the original text but Luhrman uses high profile actors to attract more people, as they will think this if this film has well known actors it is bound to be a good film. In addition, Luhrman does this to make the film more accessible because it is a commercial film it would be at the local cinemas so that more people have access to seeing it. Also it would be more widely advertised so it would attract people's attention as it has high profile actors. In this version, they speak with an American accent and they speak bits of modern day English. With this technique, he makes it more accessible for a 21st century audience. The way the scene is opened by both directors adds to the understanding of the tension. Originally, the scene is opened by Benvolio saying "For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring". He is saying that the day is hot and he has a feeling that something is going to happen. Zeffirelli shows this through the bell tolling with the Market Square empty. This creates an ominous feeling because a bell tolling symbolizes death. ...read more.


In the Luhrman version, the music changes to church music when Mercuito dies. Also the music changes to an upbeat track when Tybalt is Beating Romeo up and also Mercuito's voice is echoed which makes the scene more dramatic when he dies. Both soundtracks make the film more understandable because you know when the music changes in both films something is going to happen but you don't what this adds tension to the film. At the beginning of both films and the original text, the chorus tells us that Romeo and Juliet are "a pair of star-cross's lovers". We know from the start that the feud between the two families will not end until, "Their death bury their parent's strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, and the continuance of their parents' rage, which, but their childrend's end, nought could remove". At the start, the chorus warns us that neither house would be free of violence until both families had suffered. This is echoed when Both Mercuito and Tybalt die and Romeo responsible for both. Mercuito died because Romeo got in the way while he was fighting and indirectly caused his death with Tybalt and Romeo killed Tybalt himself. Mercuito put a curse on both families because their conflict and constant fighting lead to his death although he was not even a member of either family. In the Zeffirelli version, only Romeo is present when the curse is put on both families. Luhrman goes further with is interpretation by having Romeo and Tybalt present when he puts the curse on both families. By doing this, he makes the whole theme of fate more apparent. Hardip Sodhi ...read more.

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