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In this essay I shall be discussing the differences and similarities between two film versions of Shakespeare's tragic play "Romeo and Juliet".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Romeo and Juliet essay In this essay I shall be discussing the differences and similarities between two film versions of Shakespeare's tragic play "Romeo and Juliet". Before hand I will have analyzed the text from three sonnets "The Prologue", "Lady Capulet's praise of Paris" and "The lovers first meeting". I will have given some information on the sonnet form and structure and also briefly explained the sonnet tradition. I will then move onto producing a film-based version of the three sonnets using my own ideas. Finally I will end my essay and conclude what I have learnt and enjoyed. A Sonnet is a 14-line verse with the rhyming scheme AB AB CD CD EF EF GG. Shakespeare had a style of verse called Iambic Pentameter, this is alternating stressed and un stressed syllables. These contain 10 beats in every line. Iambic is a Greek word and means pattern of stresses in each line and Pentameter is a Latin word mean 5 pairs of stresses to each line. They were very popular in the time under the rule of Elizabeth the first. The language in Romeo and Juliet shows strong influence of an Italian poet named Petrach who lived 1304 to 1374. He was very popular with English poets in Elizabethan times. The English poets drew on Petrach's themes and styles writing about courtly love such as in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo loves Rosaline an unattainable unrequited love; this shows very strongly Petrach's influence. The influence of sonnets in Romeo and Juliet are Shakespeare's neat and deliberate use of rhyming schemes, elaborate conceits such as the metaphors for war, word play of wit, puns and repetition. Verse and prose are both used at different times in Shakespeare for specific purposes. Shakespeare used verse for important speeches and serious subjects, where as he used prose for general conversation and particularly with lower class characters. Shakespeare's verse is always written in Iambic Pentameter, as we know about. ...read more.

Middle

This is shown through the clever metaphors shown in the sonnet. For example "this holy shrine" in the second line, he is saying she is a shrine, using religious concepts to describe her. He's saying that she is a shrine of holiness. That he is "unworthy" of her touch, she is too good for him. Also he compares his lips to "pilgrims" religious devotees who journey to a shrine or sacred place, someone who embarks on a quest for something conceived of as sacred. This is a very high stature to be compared to. This sonnet shows us how Romeo is trying to "woo" Juliet, impress her by showing her how much he means to her, how beautiful she is and how much he wants her. She is teasing him - "have not saints lips and holy palmers too?" It's conversational. The last lines show the effectiveness of Romeo's flattery, "Saints do not move, through grant for prayers sake, Then move not while my prayers effect I take" She's saying to him that saints do not move to grant whishes, and he's telling her back that she doesn't have to move while he makes his prayers/whishes come true. After this last line we can almost she the image of them kissing in our minds. After all the flirting that keeps us on the edge of our seats we come to a climax at the end of this sonnet, will they? Wont they? Is a theme that runs throughout this sonnet. I will now briefly explain the lovers first meeting in Luhrman's version of the scene. It lasts 12 minutes and 29 seconds. All of the Capulet family and friends are feasting and dancing in the Capulet mansion. There is typical of the era folk music playing and dancing. The party is a "masked ball" and this is how the Montague friends, including Romeo, manage to sneak in. ...read more.

Conclusion

I chose the last song "my sweet prince" for the complete opposite effect. (This is the nightclub inside) The clothes below would be worn by my characters at the club: Mercutio, Romeo and Julian. This vest would be worn my Romeo, accompanied by a pair of jeans. Also by this hat: Mercutio is more daring however and would a pair of white flared trousers and a white feather bower. This shows his more daring and experimental side. For example... Finally, Julian would be wearing a silver metallic shirt unbuttoned at the top and a pair of averagely tight trousers in black. Showing his more innocent inexperienced side. As in all the scenes before I would give the actors a translated version of the sonnet to help direct them and ask them to watch and educate themselves on their type of character. From doing this essay I have become more experienced with the ideals and flexibility of Shakespeare. I have learnt that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a timeless play adaptable to every situation and time. I have learnt the complexity and level of difficultness of sonnets and the amount of effort they take. I now know what a lengthy process adapting a film can be and how the director takes every detail into account. From comparing the films I have found out just how different the same script can be interpreted, and how you can aim your film to appeal to a certain target audience through decisions based on set, costume and music. With music you can influence the viewers opinion of the scene and distort its meaning. If your choice for music is wrong it can completely ruin how effective a scene is. I have learnt to appreciate Shakespeare's genius whilst enjoying using my creativity on his text. I have most enjoyed applying my analysation techniques, used earlier in the essay whilst discussing Zeffirelli and Luhrmans versions, to my own version of the scenes and understanding why, and what impact my choices will make. In conclusion I have learnt a lot from this essay. Jennifer Stephenson 10 A 1 Romeo and Juliet ...read more.

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