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How would you direct Act 3 Scene 5 from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"?

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Introduction

How would you direct Act 3 Scene 5 from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"? In this essay I am going to discuss how I would direct Act 3 Scene 5 from William Shakespeare's, "Romeo and Juliet", first produced in 1595. Since then, there have been modern productions where the original text has been adapted for film. Considering this, I am going to direct a film version, explaining in detail Act 3 Scene 5. I will develop ideas based on two films, 'Romeo and Juliet' directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968 and 'Romeo and Juliet' directed by Baz Luhrmann in 1997. To make this play relevant to today's society I will set it in modern day England because I do not think that a traditional setting will appeal to a modern audience. To portray the conflict between the two families I will have the Montagues and Capulets different religions. In Shakespeare's original text, we do not find out why the families are opposed, and why it would anger both families for Romeo and Juliet to marry. We do know that in Shakespeare's time, it was considered a mortal sin to be trying to be wed while already married. It was believed that you would certainly go to hell and no Friar would conduct the ceremony. Nowadays, it is the choice of the person who they marry. I will explain this situation by Juliet's family being Hindus and therefore an arranged marriage would be a normal thing for her. ...read more.

Middle

would be good in this role. Luhrmann had also cast him as Capulet in his 1997 version and I can appreciate the reasons why. He is a talented actor who not only works in film but television, theatre and more recently, opera. This means he has a loud voice and an air of control around him. He has played important, powerful characters previously and is currently working on an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'. This means he will be familiar with his work and how Shakespeare wants his characters to be like. I think costume is important in this scene as it can subconsciously show that Juliet and her parents are on different sides. Capulet and his wife would be wearing clothes similar in colour and style and this would contrast with Juliet's clothes. This will represent them as opposites in the argument. Capulet and Lady Capulet would be dressed in bold, domineering colours, such as blue and black. They show the characters have authority and are strong. Blue and black are colours commonly used by police, hence a force of law. Juliet would be dressed in red and white, the direct opposite of her parents. Red also symbolises rebellion and defiance, Juliet's attitude to the marriage with Paris. The Nurse would wear plain, light clothes, as she does not take sides. She represents the middle, neutral ground in this argument as she tries to reason with Juliet after her parents leave. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would carry this idea on by emphasising this line. To show Capulet's authority and dominance over Juliet in this scene, I would use a point of view shot as Juliet, being towered over by her father. In this way the audience could relate to how Juliet is feeling and sympathise with her. I would do this when Capulet insults Juliet. He repeated calls Juliet 'proud' and calls her names such as 'young baggage, disobedient wretch', 'tallow-face', 'sickness-green carrion' and 'unworthy.' Although considered mild or amusing today, in the sixteenth century they would be considered extremely strong and forceful. By making these insults look dramatic and harsh, this would better convey Capulet's intense displeasure. The scene ends with Juliet on her own speaking her thoughts, a monologue. She reveals how she is feeling about her parent's ideas, 'Ancient damnation, O most wicked fiend' and tells the audience that if she cannot get out of it, she wants to die. 'If all else fail, myself have power to die.' This again ties in with the theme of fate and so I believe it is as important as the rest of the scene. To emphasise her distress, I would pan the shot around her, slowly zooming and then resting at a close up on her face when she delivers the last line. I want the picture of just her face and how angry she is to be memorable so at the very end I would cut to a black screen. I believe that my direction of Act 3 Scene 5 by adaptations, choice of characters and use of dramatic devices will make this scene successful. Catherine Seale ...read more.

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