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

In Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet, the commencement of the Capulet Ball is marked with an impressive fireworks display. There is a great sense of excitement and a sense that something special is imminent. Both

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Romeo and Juliet - The Balcony Scene Act 2 Scene 2 "To be or not to be" was not a question asked when Shakespeare released his first play. People knew that his plays would last the test of time and their popularity today is testament to his success. Shakespeare's work was popular from day one with everyone, from the young to the old, the rich to the poor, the commoner to royalty, with Queen Elizabeth I being an avid enthusiast of his work. There were few forms of entertainment in Shakespeare's era, but the theatre was by far most popular. Visiting the theatre was affordable to people of all classes as the price of tickets ranged from just a penny, to much higher prices for those who could afford it and who wanted the luxury of a seat with a good view. Although Shakespeare did not have stage props, elaborate costumes or the use of music or cinematic devices such as we have today, he used what he had to gain effect. If a canon sound or gunshot were needed, often a team outside the theatre would create the sound using methods of their time. And in battle scenes, animal innards would have been strewn upon the stage. Stage setting and wardrobe were rudimentary by today's standards but nonetheless did not deflect from the stage performances. Shakespeare used his gift of language to enthral his audiences and his plays continue to do so today. Audiences would have to wait another three hundred years before they could see Shakespeare's work on film, and the love affair between the world's greatest writer and the world's most popular art form hasn't stopped since. Movies about Shakespeare are numerous - some two hundred and fifty movies have been produced, and have been shown in cinemas and homes throughout the world. In this essay, I will be writing about one such film, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet is amused by his antics and tries helplessly to contain her laughter, while Paris mistakenly thinks that he is impressing Juliet. Later, an oblivious Paris is filmed talking to Juliet's mother while Juliet and Romeo converse secretly in the background. Juliet is standing at a pillar looking mildly bemused by the experience of dancing with Paris, when suddenly someone grabs her hand. To her delight she finds it to be Romeo who hides behind the side of the pillar so as not to arouse rumour with her family. It is at this point that Romeo and Juliet speak for the very first time, and throughout this dialogue Romeo persuades Juliet into allowing him to give her a kiss. After some flirtatious teasing, Juliet gives in and Romeo and her slip into a lift where they kiss. As the lift doors open, Romeo and Juliet step out on to another floor where Juliet spies her mother and Paris coming up some stairs. She promptly drags Romeo back into the lift with her where they indulge in yet another kiss. As the lift doors open again, a less than amused Nurse pulls a reluctant Juliet away. Regardless of the trouble that she may be in for being caught with another young man, Juliet cannot take her eyes off Romeo who again is seen running after her. Luhrmann uses the Kissing You instrumental in the movie until the scene where Romeo sees Juliet with her mother, Lady Capulet. Nurse mutters to Juliet that Romeo is a Montague, an enemy of her family. As both Romeo and Juliet realise that they are of families who hate each other, the music changes to a dramatic and sad instrumental. Shakespeare now moves the scene from within the Capulet mansion to outside in its grounds. Romeo after departing the ball longs to be with Juliet and is quick to leave his friends and search for his love Juliet, who he can't endure to be away from. ...read more.

Conclusion

As there is little dialogue involving Capulet and Lady Capulet, Luhrmann felt it was particularly important for their costumes to be accurate to their personalities. Capulet is portrayed as the invincible Augustus and Lady Capulet as the divine yet materialistic Cleopatra. Capulet is depicted as Augustus to show him as an omnipotent, stubborn, egocentric man who is also very ostentatious in his manner. Lady Capulet is equally matched to her costume character. When dressed as Cleopatra, Lady Capulet is in her element as a vain, manipulative woman, who like her husband enjoys being centre of attention. Lady Capulet also relished the idea of men falling at her feet, just as Cleopatra had enjoyed this attention too. At the Masque Ball, Tybalt and his cronies are aptly dressed in rather sinister outfits in satanic colours of red and black. Tybalt wears a head adornment similar to devil horns or cat ears, which adds to his connection with evil and his reputation as Prince of Cats. His hellish costume also illustrates his fiery temperament and his ability to combust at any time. Tybalt's companions are also dressed in rather sinister, satanic, skeleton guises to resemble their fiery temperament, and their obsession with killing and death. Luhrmann's use of costumes in the movie is highly effective. His conversion of Shakespeare's characters into modern archetypes makes it easy for viewers to empathise with the individual personalities of each character. One key difference between Shakespeare's original play and Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet is the dialogue. In Shakespearian times, the theatre was predominantly an aural rather than a visual experience. Audiences loved Shakespeare's long, romantic and poetic speeches. Characters described the settings through their speeches instead of through backgrounds and props. Actors had to convey all necessary information regarding plot, characters and settings, as the plays would have been performed on a bare stage with few props and limited costumes. Shakespearian playhouses didn't have the benefit of lighting, background music or special effects to add to the drama within the play, they relied solely on the ability of the actors. ...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 dose Shakespeare present Lord Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet?" Would you describe him ...

    Juliet" if he was not controlling as it would not suit his character. He is controlling throughout the play to show that he has respect from other people and to show how important he really is. He is mainly controlling over Juliet, Tybalt and his wife Lady Capulet.

  2. The concept of fate - Romeo and Juliet

    all affect who we become and develop into, which, ultimately, is fate. As much as we would like to deny it. Some things just can't be explained unless you look to the higher reasoning and to the higher cause, and sometimes the good out of the bad is visible.

  1. Lord Capulet, How good a father do you feel he is to Juliet

    this to try and get her to agree to marrying Paris, 'But you will not wed, I'll pardon you: Graze where you will, you shall not house with me'. Capulet also makes Juliet sound like his property 'And you be mine, I'll give you to my friend'.

  2. Violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet. Discuss this theme with reference ...

    Shakespeare intentionally portrays Lady Capulet as a revengeful character rather than a sorrowful one whilst making this statement, because it allows him to express the central theme of the play "hatred", with ease. Lady Capulet hopes that her scheme of poisoning Romeo will satisfy Juliet, alas to this assurance made

  1. "How does Shakespeare represent conflict in Romeo and Juliet?"

    Both sides now use words with much more consideration; they are now intended to be offensive, one such example of this is, 'I do bite my thumb sir' Biting one's thumb was a rude gesture in Shakespeare's time, so although the words are insulting and are intended to infuriate, they are quite trivial.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present The Character Of Romeo Montague?

    Romeo however, fails to think that in killing himself he will leave Juliet to deal with the events afterwards, alone and also Shakespeare indicates the character to not think as much of Juliet as he claims to feel. This is ironic because if he stabs himself he won't just destroy

  1. How does Baz Luhrmann use props, iconography, costumes and settings to create his own ...

    They have the dark hair, eyes and skin. For example, Tybalt Capulet, the Prince of cats, is wearing Jesus on his top and he has metal cat shaped heels on his black leather shoes; but on the contrary Benvolio Romeo's cousin is wearing a multi-coloured Hawaiian shirt.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present The Relationship Between Capulet and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet?

    Both these two significant personalities are combined in ?Romeo and Juliet? where Juliet becomes the defiant daughter only to fail, leading her to do what she does best: Put on the good daughter facade to get what she wants.

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