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Jonathan Tindall10x1 Final Draft

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Introduction

Direct a scene from 'Romeo and Juliet'. Discuss how you would stage this in modern and Shakespearean times. In this essay I will imagine that I am directing a scene from Romeo and Juliet. I will be discussing how I would stage this scene in both modern and Shakespearean times. Throughout the play there are strong scenes of violence between the two warring families (the Capulets and the Montagues) and the scene I have chosen to base my essay on is a prime example of this. The scene I have chosen to discuss is act three scene one. This is an extremely powerful scene and is one of the most pivotal points in the play as it shows us the deaths of both Mercutio and Tybalt while also showing us the banishment of Romeo. It also portrays the characters deepest feeling towards the family grudge. Staging the play in Shakespearean times will obviously be a lot different to a modern day production. To show this I will be looking at cast, costumes, sets, props, lighting, the most important points in the scene and how imperative the audience are to the play. I will start by discussing whom I would cast in the roles of the main characters. Casting roles in Shakespearean times would be a lot more difficult because of the fact that in those times only males were allowed to perform on stage. This would obviously cause problems when casting roles such as Juliet, Juliet's nurse, Lady Montague and Capulet and other female parts. I will be discussing whom I would cast as Romeo, Tybalt, Benvolio, Mercutio and Prince Escales for both modern day and Shakespearean times. I will not be looking at Juliet for the simple reason that she is not in this scene. For a modern day Romeo I would choose someone like Elijah Wood. This is because he is handsome, he is an average height and he gives of a great impression of innocence through his boyish facial features. ...read more.

Middle

One method I could use would be to place boards across the top of the stage, which would provide vital shade for certain areas of the stage. At the beginning of the scene I would not have any boards covering the stage, giving the stage full light. However as the scene progresses (much akin to the method I would use in the modern day production) I would lay the boards across the stage, starting from the back and gradually continue until they reach the front of the stage therefore making it as dark as possible in daylight. This is how I would have the stage for Mercutio and Tybalt's duel. However when Mercutio is slain I would remove the first few boards and let in more light so the audience will possibly assume that the terror is over. I would want to mislead the audience in this way because it would provide a much more fulfilling experience as they would keep on guessing what may happen in the events to follow. I would do the same for the Romeo and Tybalt duel as I think this method would work effectively and for the fact that I do not have many other options available to me during Shakespearean times. Much like the modern day production I would keep the boards normal until then end of the scene where they would steadily cover the stage once more as Prince Escales finishes making his judgement. Another way I could make use of light would be to stage the play at night and use candles and lamps. However this would more difficult to engage, as I would have to make sure the candles are kept lit and I would have to have people on stage moving the candles around as the scenes progresses and lighting them. This would be ineffective as the audience may confuse the men lighting the candles with the actors. ...read more.

Conclusion

The way some of the characters clash with each other not only in the events in the play, but in how they move, dress and speak would keep the modern day audience interested through the entire play. The Shakespearean audiences greatly enjoyed drama and terrible things happening to other people. The way the actors would move across the stage and speak melodramatically would keep them encapsulated for the duration of the play. Because I would have little access to props and basically bare minimum options for costumes I would have to rely on the actors themselves to gain the audiences attention and joy. Making overblown gestures such as those Mercutio makes as he is dying would be essential to maintain the audiences interest. As I have noted before what the play is trying to tell the audience does not change but the way it tells the audience does. In my opinion the play is trying to inform the audience that love is the deepest and most complex of human emotions and that if it takes hold of you it can evoke all sorts of other emotions like hatred (Romeo's hatred towards Tybalt significantly escalated after he found love with Juliet), sadness (when Romeo returns to Verona to find Juliet pretending to be dead), vengefulness (Romeo had eventually decided that he was going to avenge Mercutio or die trying) and many others. Romeo portrayed all of these emotions I have listed throughout the play mainly after he found love with Juliet. Even before he fell in love with Juliet Romeo felt sadness and loneliness because he was in love with Rosaline, something she did not return. This is what the play is tying to tell the audience and while how that is done may differ from one generation to the other I believe I have created two versions of the story that are exciting and interesting for their respective targets. ...read more.

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