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How effectively do Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli interpret Act I Scene VI when Romeo and Juliet meet?

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Introduction

How effectively do Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli interpret Act I Scene VI when Romeo and Juliet meet? Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli have both made productions of Romeo and Juliet. Baz Luhrmann's version is very modern but still uses the old text. This film was made in 1997. Franco Zeffirelli sets his film with old looking sets and uses the old text. This film was made in the 1970's. Both films are set in Verona but the sets are very different. Franco Zeffirelli's seems to be set in Italy, with small stone roads. Baz Luhrmann's version however has large open spaces, hot weather and large beaches, this give the impression of it being set in the USA. In the first part of the scene the Capulet's mansion is the setting for a party. In the Baz Luhrmann version the hall is quite big, the main feature is the staircase, it is the biggest thing in the room and looks very expensive, this give an idea of how rich the Capulet's are. The room is bright but not overpowering, and often things are in a little shadow to make them stand out and look like they always are there and not just for the party to be shown off. Money is shown a lot with large painting on the walls and the fish tank is also very big. The Capulet's are showing money by having large things in their house. This gives the impression of things happening all the time, fury and bad things happening. In the Franco Zeffirelli version the hall looks bigger but less extravagant, it does not have main feature or any possessions on show. As it is set in the past it looks very mediaeval with stonewalls and floors. The setting is very mellow which give the impression of life and love and the future. The lighting in each of the productions is very important, because it is a party lots of thing will be happening so light is used to pick out the things the audience is meant to be looking at. ...read more.

Middle

It is more effective where as the Franco Zeffirelli version seems very directed and unreal. It seems unreal because of the time it is set in, people now a days are used to parties being like the one in the Baz Luhrmann version. In the next part of the scene Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. This part of the scene is split into two, the first part is when Romeo and Juliet first see each other and are watching each other. In the text it shows that Romeo thinks he is in love with Juliet from the moment he meets her. He says: "As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear" He is implying that she is stunning and she stands out among the people around her. Juliet does not say anything in this part of the scene. In the second part of the scene after Tybalt has spoken Romeo and Juliet speak for the first time. He is very forwards with her, he straight away asks if he can kiss her, she seems to realise that he is trying to woo her and leads him on, when he makes a comment she will twist it. Once Romeo asks Juliet for a kiss she replies: "Good pilgrim...for saints have hands that pilgrims' and do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss" She is avoiding what Romeo has said to her, but in the end she gives in and kisses him. The text gives the impression of Juliet, who is pure, verses Romeo's flirting. In the Baz Luhrmann version water is used to give the effect of romance, Romeo and Juliet meet through the fish tank, nothing is said when they see each other, there is music place in the back ground which is very magical and romantic. Both Romeo and Juliet flirt without talking, they use body language, the expressions on their faces shows that they like each other, it all seems very fairytale like with the perfect end, it seems that nothing can go wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

Franco Zeffirelli uses light a little more effectively when Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time, it makes that part of the scene more dramatic and their feeling are emphasised a lot more. The costumes, hair and make up are mainly used to show the power and personality of the characters. In both versions Lord and Lady Capulet are dressed up likes kings and queens. In Baz Luhrmann's version the characters are dressed to show their personalities and to show how powerful they are more effectively. They are dressed as people, Tybalt is a devil, which shows his personality being like the devil where as in the Franco Zeffirelli version he is shown in dark colour, which cannot be interpreted very well. Stage props are used more effectively in the Baz Luhrmann version, water is used mainly when Romeo and Juliet meet, it makes everything calm and relaxed. The only prop that is used in the Franco Zeffirelli version are masks to cover the Montague's faces, which do not seem very effective. In the Baz Luhrmann version the acting is more effective than the acting in the Franco Zeffirelli version. The characters feelings are shown more in the way they worked with other characters, it is more believable and doesn't look like they have a script, they just seems to be going with the flow of the romance. Over all I think that Baz Luhrmann has interpreted Act I Scene VI the most effectively; he shows things in more detail, the romance seems real between Romeo and Juliet and not just following a script, things are pointed out that the audience would not understand more than in the Franco Zeffirelli version. The props, sound and lighting help make it very effective and clear, the lighting points out thing that the audience should look at and the props make the scene look more magical and romantic. The way the scene has been directed gives the feeling that something bad will happen but the love between Romeo and Juliet is so strong that they may pull through anything that happens. ...read more.

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