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Romeo and Juliet - "Compare and contrast act 2 scene 2 and act 5 scene 3 of the play with Luhrmann's treatment of these scenes in the film "Romeo and Juliet."

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Introduction

Compare and contrast act 2 scene 2 and act 5 scene 3 of the play with Luhrmann's treatment of these scenes in the film "Romeo and Juliet. "Romeo and Juliet" is both a film about love and tragedy, and the war and peace between the two rival families, the Montagues and the Capulets. All of this love, tension and emotion are shown through Shakespeare's play with words and emotive language to truly bring their feelings alive. From his extended metaphors of water, light, religion and heaven, Shakespeare really shows their passion and devotion for each other; this is what Luhrmann really picks up on and utilises as his inspiration for his film version of this well known play and is why Shakespeare's language is so important to the overall feel, character and artistic visual of the film; from the symbols to the seemingly unplanned movement of characters in a scene. In Act 2 Scene 2 of the play Shakespeare used the theme of light to show the bright and fiery love Romeo sees in her. "Oh speak again Bright Angel", Romeo describes Juliet as he talks to her in the "light through yonder window breaks?" Throughout this scene Shakespeare uses many metaphors to show this brightness and love Romeo sees in Juliet; "Juliet is the sun", "Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon"; both quotes show the love Romeo sees in her, but talking about her as so bright, and such a marvelous and great thing as the sun. ...read more.

Middle

He calls her "bright angel", and also as a saint on several occasions. This shows Romeo's love for Juliet once more, that she is so important to him, that she rivals religion, and heaven. Furthermore, with the ideas of heaven, we see one of the first inclusions of a metaphor that Juliet says. Romeo is Juliet's "God of Idolatry", she says, a shocking blasphemous statement for audience members of that time. This really shows how much she loves him; she idolizes and adores him, like a god! The use of heaven within the play is used many times by Luhrmann to signify many different things. In Act 2ii Juliet comes down from her brightly lit room to Romeo in an elevator, also heavily lit from within. This descent from high, in my opinion, greatly refers to the many references in the play to heaven, and with that, Juliet being a part of heaven. Furthermore, at the end of the scene Juliet goes back up to her bedroom via the long staircase, as though walking a staircase to heaven, a theme later revisited in the final death scene, 5iii, in the tomb or church of Verona. Furthermore, the actions of Juliet especially, were really meant to shock the Elizabethan audience. Her very forward actions, which really defy and out go the previously set, almost laws, and rules of Filial Obedience were really not the norm of that generation. ...read more.

Conclusion

meant to be; after all, the gun could have been put anywhere, but no, it's placed on the cushion, Juliet's cushion, a sign she was going to shoot herself. Also, in the film, the couples are surrounded by crosses made out of neon lights and flowers. This reference to god and religion around them is a reference to something higher, something that cannot be controlled, and in turn, the fates themselves. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's language inspires Luhrmann's every second of film. This close reference to Shakespeare's language really comes across in the thousands of symbols that go unnoticed at first, but which are then discovered the more times you watch the film. Shakespeare's main purpose of Romeo and Juliet was to open up the boundaries of love set in those times. From the preposterous proposal of Juliet, to their untimely undoing, I believe Shakespeare tried to set new boundaries, boundaries that meant love could be found, rather then simply made; a love that didn't rely on wealth or status. Baz Luhrmann however, still manages to portray these boundaries, despite the story being set in modern times, with his use of the rival gangs, and business men. However, the modern audience wouldn't have been shocked to see two people fall in love without any ties or complications, and hence, makes for a compelling and tragic movie, as well as a skillful artistic interpretation of Shakespeare's literature. ...read more.

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