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"How does Shakespeare include love tragedy danger and violence into act 1 scene 5? how does Baz Luhrmann interpret Shakespeare's dramatic craft"

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"How does Shakespeare include love tragedy danger and violence into act 1 scene 5? how does Baz Luhrmann interpret Shakespeare's dramatic craft" This opening sonnet sets the scene for the most tragic love story ever written. Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' has captured every reader's imagination since the seventeenth century. Nowadays however, a new medium can be used to convey Shakespeare's dramatic genius: cinema. In this essay I will endeavour to investigate how Shakespeare includes love, tragedy, danger and violence into act one scene five. In doing so I will find out how Baz Luhrmann interprets Shakespeare's dramatic craft from his modern version of 'Romeo and Juliet.' Analysis This is the moment we've all been waiting for. The build up of the party in Shakespeare is formed through conversations revealing Romeo's premonitions of danger. In Luhrmann however, there is another dimension: the use of drugs for exaltation. This depicts Shakespeare's dramatic craft in a way that suggests danger and violence in the modern world. Romeo sees Juliet and forgets Rosaline entirely; Juliet meets Romeo and falls just as deeply in love. The meeting of Romeo and Juliet dominates the scene, and, with extraordinary language that captures both the excitement and wonder that the two protagonists feel, Shakespeare proves equal to the expectations he has set up by delaying the meeting for an entire act. Luhrmann on the other hand uses a more visual concept to meet the two characters and instead of perhaps the two seeing each other from ...read more.


The shared sonnet between Romeo and Juliet therefore creates a formal link between their love and their destiny. With a single sonnet, Shakespeare finds a means of expressing perfect love and linking it to a tragic fate whereas Luhrmann does this differently: the viewer is absorbed into the present moment through sensory impact and therefore is less likely to think so much about the fate of the ending. This, I think, helps include the viewer into the pair's state of mind as they are, with the viewer, oblivious to their ending fate. That fate begins to assert itself in the instant when Romeo and Juliet first meet: Tybalt recognizes Romeo when Romeo takes off his mask. Capulet, acting cautiously, stops Tybalt from taking immediate action, but Tybalt's rage is set, creating the circumstances that will eventually banish Romeo from Verona. In using modern weapons such as guns instead of swords, Luhrmann increases the effect of violence: when Tybalt reaces for his gun when he sees Romeo, it induces more fear in the viewer than if he were to draw his sword. I think this is because guns are more lethal without the need for proximity and Romeo would not be able to defend himself from a bullet. Luhrmann has subtly dressed Tybalt as the devil and this holds great relevance to the way he reacts to Romeo's presence as he appears as evil as his character. ...read more.


At Luhrmann's fingertips lie such effects as music and camera angles. He uses colour to help interpret Shakespeare's dramatic craft and selects specific camera angles and close-up effects to display it. Take the scene when Romeo and Juliet meet for example; this would have been impossible to achieve on stage. The camera changes from side to side of the aquarium, helping the viewer see from each character's angle. There is romantic music in the background and the beautifully coloured fish inside the tank only add to the romantic mood that the scene provides for the viewer. This is greatly effective and makes the viewer almost feel what the characters feel, but on stage can be done by acting alone. Good acting affects the quality of the production; however there is an even more important, fundamental difference between what there is on the stage and what is on film: on film you are given the film. You know that what you are watching will be the same next time you or someone else watch it: there is less originality as it is plainly 'served' to the viewer 'on a plate' so to say. With film your senses are stimulated and less imagination is required: what you see is what you get. Shakespeare includes the factors of love tragedy, danger and violence by means of beautiful words because that is all he had at his disposal, whereas Luhrmann uses panoply of sensory effects by means of modern technology. Personally I prefer Luhrmann's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' because I can instantly immerse myself into the story. ...read more.

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