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

How does Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of the Prologue from 'Romeo and Juliet' visually highlight Shakespeare's rich imagery and language?

Extracts from this document...


How does Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of the Prologue from 'Romeo and Juliet' visually highlight Shakespeare's rich imagery and language? Shakespeare's use of language reflects the theatre of his day as the audience had to imagine much more than in a contemporary theatre. In late 16th Century Britain, there were no 'sets', artificial 'lightning' or elaborate 'sound effects'. Also, there were only a few actors playing different parts in similar costumes and the plots could easily be misunderstood. Therefore, language and imagery had to do all the work as words were the only tools available to help the audience to imagine the scenes vividly. I will analyse the Prologue to highlight Shakespeare's use of language for dramatic purposes and compare it to the film director Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of this in his language for his film version. The Prologue is vital; it highlights the major parts of the plot in the play, eliminates potential confusion and acts as an informative 'trailer' for the play. It gives us information about the setting, some background information about its principal characters, and emphasizes key events of the plot in the play. ...read more.


The modifier 'fair' in front of the word 'Verona' suggests that Verona is a peaceful religious place and the words 'alike in dignity' imply that the two families are both well-respected in 'fair' Verona. Luhrmann reflects these modifiers in a close up of the statue of Jesus and the newspaper article on both families side by side and Jesus at the middle to highlight that Verona is a peaceful moral town. The word 'fair' is strongly emphasized in the film. It appears as flashing text on the screen at least three times to echo the ironic juxtaposition of peace and war in this opening sequence. Shakespeare also uses alliteration in the sonnet to emphasize the hatred between both families. The alliterative repetition of "C" is a sibilant sound that creates a violent, brutal effect for the audience. It tells us that the Montagues and Capulets are two rival families and they are both involved within a family feud. Even the townspeople are involved because the families do not keep the feud in the privacy of their own home but have been seen fighting in the public streets and displaying violence. ...read more.


The Prologue itself creates this sense of fate by providing the audience with knowledge that Romeo and Juliet will die even before the play has begun. It is the ironic fate of the two lovers. Their death is not their fault, but it is their misfortune for which they are not entirely responsible. In the film version these words appear as flashing text at least three times. The words also appear in the top right corner of the screen just below the picture of a broken star-crossed ring when the reporter reads out the Prologue. Luhrmann thus emphasizes this key Shakespearean theme for the modern film viewer. Shakespeare uses rich imagery, modifiers, and literary devices in the Prologue to enhance information about where the play takes place and the major parts of the plot in the play. In the modern film adaptation, Luhrmann uses different camera shots and positions to establish the setting of the play. He uses non-diegetic sound like incidental music to create the tensions in order to highlight the feud between the two families. He uses many impressive images to visually convey Shakespeare's rich imagery and language and successfully 'translate' the Prologue for a contemporary audience. ...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. How does Baz Luhrmann adapt the prologue and opening scene of Romeo and Juliet ...

    The two households are now together in one petrol station. The tension created at this scene is immense as the audience panic about what is going to happen next. The Capulets are portrayed as Hispanics and they come across as much tougher and violent people than the Montagues.

  2. How did the director Baz Luhrmann ensure that his film adaptation of Romeo and ...

    At the party Mercutio gives Romeo a drug that sends him on a trip. There is a particular point where he has to wash his face with cold water and there is clever use of a camera trick that makes it look like Romeo cannot see properly and as if the room is spinning.

  1. Romeo and Juliet - How has Baz Luhrman used film techniques to create a ...

    This was probably introduce to the film in this stage because he wanted to let the viewers know that this was not some boring love story. There was then a news paper with the headline Montague vs. Capulet, which show that again this conflict was very serious and was high profile.

  2. Focusing on the prologue and Act 3 Scene 1, how has Baz Luhrmann used ...

    The prologue is the same as the Shakespeare one only Luhrmann has edited out the last two lines. It is also very visually exciting. This Prologue shows the size and power of the two empires of Montague and Capulet. This shows that the two families lives revolve around money, it reminds the audience of a familiar program called Dallas.

  1. Write An Analysis Of The Opening Sequence Of Baz Luhrman's Adaptation Of Romeo And ...

    When the Capulet boys get out of their car the rock is replaced with music which sounds as if it is from a cowboy film. Abra is the first Capulet to emerge from the car and he is introduced in the same way, with his name and character appearing on the screen as the picture is frozen.

  2. Baz Luhrmann’s Adaptation of Rome and Juliet

    and "Is this normal?" Most of these questions are almost immediately answered by the arrival of the police -we know that the fight isn't normal, but has been happening a lot- but the fact that there are police involved in that 'just a bunch of kids fighting' incident puts a viewer on the edge

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