• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Compare and contrast the two 'Romeo and Juliet' films,by Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann. ...

    The immediate representation of the character makes out that Benvolio and the Capulets in general are more cowardly than the Montagues. Tybalt, who is a Montague, is very smartly dressed with a typical evil smirk on his face and a moustache.

  2. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    They tried everything else but they didn't succeed. He just can't bear to live a life without her. He thinks of his only choices and knows that either he forgets about her and leave town or he stay with her and is sent to death penalty.Even though he knows he

  1. How does Baz Luhrmann use film techniques to make Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" more ...

    Even more peculiar with these costumes is the fact that the story of 'Antony and Cleopatra' a poetic depiction of passionate, ill fated love readily resembles the story of "Romeo and Juliet" to the point that a message gone astray results in the death of both the lovers - the

  2. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet the lovers are the victims of circumstances and are ...

    Here Romeo is saying that this day of unrest suggests more to come and again he is indeed correct. Again the prophecy form of fate occurs in lines 54-7 Act 3 scene 5 where Juliet upon Romeo's departure receives a vision of her beloved laying dead at the bottom of a tomb.

  1. Compare and contrast two films made by two different directors of, "Romeo and Juliet"

    those days but it's nothing compared to the cost of Luhrmann's film. Luhrmann's film was a lot more high-tech than Zefferelli's film. For instance instead of black and brown horses there was almost every colour car you can think of.

  2. How effectively do Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli interpret Act I Scene VI when ...

    Merctio is a cross dresser in the Baz Luhrmann version, he seems very confident as he is singing and dancing in women clothes, he flaunts himself in front of everyone at the party. In the Franco Zeffirelli version he is dressed like the other at the party, he does not

  1. How successful is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Representing William Shakespeare's ...

    Another shrewd element of Baz Luhrmann is that as the original Shakespearean text included sword fighting, to bring it up to date and still remain true to the text, has inscribed the word sword or dagger on everyone's guns.

  2. How does Shakespeare achieve drama and tension in Act 3 scene 5 (line 65 ...

    There is dismay at her fathers plan. She is very angry and begins to answer her parents back. ' I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet'. Juliet is then wound up further when Lady Capulet replies ' here comes your father; tell him yourself'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work