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HOW DOES BAZ LUHRMANN CAPTURE SHAKESPEARE'S INTENTIONS IN A1S1 AND REWORK THIS SCENE FOR A 90's AUDIENCE Romeo & Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most famous books. It was written in 1599. It is the tragic story of two lovers, who die as a consequence of the hatred between their two families. The beginning of the play (A1S1) starts off with a blast, when a fight breaks out between the Capulets and Montagues (two households) and the prince must intervene to stop them. Whilst Romeo's parents are concerned about his strange behaviour, but Romeo explains to his friend Benvolio that he is in love with Rosaline. From here onwards, through out the entire play this fighting and love theme is continued and the whole play is based around these two themes, of love and hatred. Through out A1S1, Shakespeare has many intentions, the first of these intentions, is to introduce the two households. Shakespeare uses Sampson and Gregory, who are servants from the Capulet household. They are having a conversation about the Montague women. At the same time as their conversation they are having a sword fight, this is to prepare them for the fight with the Montagues. Shakespeare introduces these two servants doing this, to show the audience the seriousness of the feud between the two families, that even the servants are getting involved. ...read more.


This music that is heard in the opening scene of the film is used to represent the two families. The music, however, in any one part of act 1 scene 1 is used to represent or reflect the characteristics or emotions of the persons, whoever it may be. Also Luhrmann uses Benvolio as a piece maker, so when the Capulets ignore him and carry on fighting, so the audience or reader think that, if they don't want to make piece, why shall we like them. This is how and why Luhrmann wants the audience to dislike the Capulets and like the Montagues. After the opening scene Luhrmann shows the audience where the film is set and the two families live. Firstly where the play is set. Luhrmann has changed Shakespeare's idea of setting the play in Verona. Instead Luhrmann sets it in Los Angeles. He does as another part of his reworking it for a 90's audience, he does this because a LA and the USA is known for its crime and fighting and it is more of a modern scene than Verona. Also in the starting of the film he shows the audience the places the two families live. They both live next to each other in business sites, this in the opening of the film makes the audience think that these are two wealthy and powerful families, therefore higher status. Also one statue is shown to separate them. ...read more.


We then see Lord and lady Montague in their car worried about Romeo's behaviour. Here Luhrmann uses slow and sad music, which reflects their feelings and makes the audience think what's wrong. We then are introduced to Romeo, As soon as the camera turns to him are introduced to this absolutely beautiful ocean view and behind him the sun setting. At this point the audience thinks that he sad, emotional down, depressed and presumably in love, also we see him smoking which suggests this. Luhrmann does to make the audience see that he is in love. Also Luhrmann shows his lovesick mood through the poetry that Romeo uses. His body language is sloppy, which shows that he lovesick; also Luhrmann uses another very clever technique in using two guys drunk to reflect on Romeo's body language. Plus everything in that scene is used to show love, e.g. beach, sunset, temple, poetry and the people around him. I think that Luhrmann has produced a tremendous film. Also I definitely think he was successful in capturing Shakespeare's intentions because in my point of view he has captured what I thought were Shakespeare's main intentions, e.g. showing Romeo's lovesick state through his language etc. Also Luhrmann alters a few things, e.g. using guns instead of swords. He does this to rework it for a 90's audience, furthermore he does this to make Romeo & Juliet a big hit and therefore to not make a modern audience bored of old fashion stuff. ...read more.

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