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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of the first meeting between Romeo and Juliet, and evaluate Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of this scene The first meeting of 'Romeo and Juliet' was a tragedy waiting to happen. It was inevitable. The prologue initially sets the atmosphere of the play and goes straight into the central concept of it: It says "a pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life". This quote uses dramatic irony therefore the audience knows the outcome of the play before the characters. In this essay, I will be evaluating two different versions of 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare's version and Baz Luhrmann's (film) interpretation of the play. Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1597. Today it still has an everlasting universal appeal. During this time, Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as the 'Virgin Queen', was on the throne. In 1597, women were not allowed to act; young boys played female parts. Theatre was a very popular past time. In the theatre, people would be seated in order of class; there were three different levels of the theatre. The highest would be for the upper-class guests, the middle level for the middle class guests and right in front of the stage would be for the (Groundlings) poorer people. This scene is broken up into eight short snappy sections; as if this section of the play is a story within itself. It is a complex, eventful scene as a result it needs to be broken up, to be understood clearly by the audience. ...read more.

Middle

The Capulet's have the support of Lord and Lady Capulet, Paris, The Nurse and Tybalt whereas on the other side; The Montague's Lord and Lady, Friar Lawrence, Benvolio and Mercutio. Nevertheless, Romeo and Juliet are caught in the middle of the family feud and are forbidden to be together. Shakespeare uses a wide variety of language and imagery throughout the play, techniques like Blank verse for the noble characters, and prose for the lower classed characters. He also gives Romeo and Juliet a sonnet to share; this demonstrates the use of the Imagery in the scene, within this rhyme the language is much richer and more fulfilling. By giving Romeo and Juliet, a verse to share it allows them each allotted time within the scene to splendidly express their feelings and emotions for each other. Shakespeare uses similes, epic-similes, metaphors and personification. There are also many themes in the play like Love, Death, Good and Evil and Religion. Looking at the sonnet the language is mainly religious: "Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. Then move not while my prayers' effect I take." Shakespeare uses words like "saint", "lips" and "hands" to show that Romeo does not just love Juliet he worships her. The choice of imagery shown by Shakespeare varies a lot. In particular, he uses contrasting pairs like light / dark and life / death. An example of this method is when Romeo first sees Juliet, he describes her as a light in darkness, "O she doth teach the torches ...read more.

Conclusion

He uses the characters facial expressions to implement they way they are feeling, for example: when Tybalt wants to fight Romeo, he has an angry face whereas when the nurse speaks to Juliet she has a welcoming kind face. Shakespeare presents the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet in an exciting way he uses a lot of imagery to let the reader paint a picture of what is going on for themselves. Alternatively Luhrmann presents the first meeting of 'Romeo and Juliet' in a more up to date modern way, he uses special effects and props to show what's going on. Shakespeare shows the joy of Romeo and Juliet by the use of the dialogue he uses, with numerous techniques to give clues to the reader to suggest the tragedy that will ultimately occur (Romeo and Juliet's death). Baz Luhrmann successfully demonstrates his interpretation of Romeo and Juliet and captures the main fundamental nature of the play by expressing and exaggerating the themes and meanings of Shakespeare's language. I think he presents his adaptation of the scene extremely well and captures the overall concept of the play whilst 'keeping it real'. Luhrmann could elaborate his version and make it more detailed to make clear to the audience that it is a key part of the play. Overall Luhrmann has interpreted the significance of this scene and has kept the magic that Shakespeare first introduced; he has given the people of today a brilliant concept of Shakespeare and his tragedy Romeo and Juliet and made it more accessible to the public. ?? ?? ?? ?? 09/10/2006 BY GABI HOWARD 10DI ...read more.

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