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I am going to find out how the opening fifteen minutes of Lurhmann's Romeo and Juliet uses signs and symbols and technical codes to prepare the viewers for the rest of the story.

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Introduction

I am going to find out how the opening fifteen minutes of Lurhmann's Romeo and Juliet uses signs and symbols and technical codes to prepare the viewers for the rest of the story. Romeo and Juliet is about two families, the Montagues (Romeo) and the Capulets (Juliet). The two families had an argument a very long time ago and they still detest each other even though the argument happened so long ago and they do not even remember what the ancient feud is even about. The two children of these families fall in love with each other at a party held at the Capulet mansion. Soon after the party they meet and they vow to marry each other. The next day they get married. Because of all the fighting that has occurred between the two families the prince or as he is portrayed in this version of Romeo and Juliet the Chief of Police has told the families that the next family member to start a civil brawl will be executed. Unfortunately just after the marriage of Romeo and Juliet there is another brawl between the Montagues and the Capulets and Mercutio (Romeo's best friend) is killed by Tybalt (Juliet's cousin). This causes Romeo to kill Tybalt. As Romeo was avenging Mercutio's death and Mercutio was related to the Chief of Police Romeo was given the punishment of banishment not death. Juliet is very upset at this and her family arrange a marriage with Paris (The Governor's son) to make her feel better, consequently making Juliet feel worse. Juliet goes to the priest for help saying that she would rather kill herself than marry Paris, so the priest gives Juliet a potion which he tells her to drink, it will make her appear as if she were dead. The priest also tells Juliet that he will arrange to inform Romeo and reunite her with him. ...read more.

Middle

taunt the Capulets in revenge by the first Montague biting his thumb at them after the Capulets mock them for the second Montague falling back in the car after Abra hissed at them. But when The Capulets are angry they really show their anger. The crests on the guns also show the differences between the two families. Signs and Symbols are used in the first 15 Minutes of the film to introduce themes into the film in a short space of time, to give visual images of the themes in the film, to back up the prologue and to make Romeo and Juliet an easier story to understand for a modern audience. Luhrmann uses religious imagery and fire as signs (fire as a natural motif) and symbols to introduce themes into the film. Luhrmann uses the Statue of Jesus which he repeatedly shows many times to get the point across to the audience that religion plays a big part in each of these families lives. Luhrmann uses the statue of Jesus to reinforce the theme of separation between the two families as he shows the statue placed between the two skyscrapers of Montague and Capulet. The theme of religion is also shown by the religious symbol of the cross is used on the font of the lettering of the prologue which is visually shown after it is read by the newsreader. The theme of religion is also shown by religious symbols on family members or things that belong to them, the Montague car has a religious picture on the dashboard, the crests on the guns have a cross on them, The waistcoat that Tybalt is wearing underneath his jacket has a picture of Jesus on it, one of the Capulets has a cross shaved in the hair on the back of his head. Fire is used to show the themes of anger and the feud between the two families it is also used to hint to the viewers what will happen later in the film. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the petrol station catches fire the dramatic operatic music is played again this is to remind the viewers of the images shown before when the same music was playing as images and themes were being shown to the viewers. The opening 15 minutes of Lurhmann's Romeo and Juliet uses signs and symbols and technical codes to prepare the viewers for the rest of the story by introducing the themes and concepts of the film by using signs, symbols and technical codes to do this. In the opening the prologue is explained and supported by many visual images relating and explaining it, this prepares the viewers for the rest of the story as it explains the prologue, which is meant to prepare the viewers for the rest of the story, if the viewers understand the prologue they are prepared for the rest of the story. Luhrmann also helps introduce themes in the film such as conflict to the viewers to help them have a better understanding of the story of Romeo and Juliet and to make sure that the viewers know what is going on. In the opening of the film neither Romeo or Juliet is seen, but the play is about them, this is to because the begging of the film is to do with the conflict and the themes between the two families, it explains what the situation between the families is, not including Romeo or Juliet in the opening sequence shows that Romeo and Juliet have nothing to do with the conflict between the two families, the problem is not their fault and the quarrel is not between them but between other people: their relatives. I think that the opening of the film does a good job in preparing the viewers for the rest of the film as it explains all the necessary things to help the viewers understand what is going on in the film. The opening of the film also interests the viewer and draws them into the film; this in a way also prepares them for the rest of the film. ...read more.

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