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Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous plays written by playwright William Shakespeare. It tells the story of two feuding families and the ups and downs of a love struck couple.

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Introduction

Romeo And Juliet Essay Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous plays written by playwright William Shakespeare. It tells the story of two feuding families and the ups and downs of a love struck couple. The story takes place in the quiet city of Verona, Italy. The two feuding families are known as the Capulets and the Montagues. The two families are filled with hate for each other and have been for some time. Regardless at the feuding, somehow two people, one from each family, fall deeply in love: one, a Capulet, Juliet, and the other a Montague, Romeo. They first meet at a masked ball being held by the Capulet's in their big house. The Montague's were strictly not invited. Thanks to the party being a 'masked ball' the Romeo and his friends, despite being un-invited, decide to visit the party regardless of the families' feuds. Romeo uses a cat like mask to disguise his identity. In the later version of the play directed by Baz Luhrmann, he cleverly changes the theme of the party to a fancy dress party. Again, this would enable people to sneak in being un-recognised. In this version Romeo dresses as a knight showing him as a 'knight in shining armour'. Romeo and Juliet meet and it's here where the story really begins. They understand that they cannot go on seeing each other, as their name is 'their greatest enemy'. Despite saying this they secretly marry with the help of Friar Lawrence and Juliet's nurse. On the day of the marriage, Romeo is challenged by a cousin of Juliet's, Tybalt, to a fight 'turn and draw' in the streets of Verona. ...read more.

Middle

The fight begins with both Mercutio and Tybalt fighting with swords that they are carrying. As we move on into the scene, Tybalt drops his sword, which Mercutio gains. Tybalt looks around for an alternative weapon and finds a pitchfork, which is leaning against a wagon full of hay. Tybalt begins to fight with this. At this point, Mercutio heads towards Tybalt with both swords clashing together. The director Franco Zefirelli does a close up camera shot on Mercutio's face as he heads towards Tybalt. This is very effective; it makes us see just how scary the situation is. Other props include a water butt in which Mercutio bathes in at the beginning of the scene and daggers. Many more extras are used during this scene. Friends of both Tybalt and Romeo are on the scene during the fight. More extras are used when the fight proceeds to the town square. People rush over to see what's happening. During this scene, there seems to be a lot of verbal abuse compared to the 1995 version of 'Romeo and Juliet' where physical force is used. Zefirelli uses many different camera angles and shots throughout the scene. This give the audience a better understanding as to what is happening. Close up shots are used quiet frequently and the blurring of shots are also used. The shot blurs when Mercutio has been stabbed, he looks at Romeo. Zefirelli is almost giving us the exact sight that Mercutio would be seeing, not being able to control his sight as he is feeling sick and dizzy after being stabbed. ...read more.

Conclusion

This emphasises the modern interpretation of the movie. The fight scene itself takes place on the beach. Part of it is on a huge makeshift stage. It's almost as though the whole fight was intended to be a play that has been forgotten and in result is now real. Religion is also a strong and vital part to Baz Luhrmann's version. Most people are seen to be wearing crosses around their necks. Many parts in the scene are taken by using a high angle shot that may suggest that god is looking down on the fight. At the end of the fight scene Romeo begs for justice to help overcome the pain he has done to himself. Romeo flees. Conclusion Out of both of the two adaptations of the script originally written by 'William Shakespeare' I preferred the 1995 version by Baz Luhrmann. I feel that this version of the play fits in more with today's society and our general look on life. We wouldn't expect to see a fight using swords anymore and certainly wouldn't expect to see people using horseback as their main source of transportation. This is my view as a teenager; older people may feel differently and in result prefer the 1968 version. I also think that having the setting in the 20th century makes the play a lot easier to understand. Although the text remains the same, the viewer some how becomes distracted from this but still gains a great understanding of the story. As for effect I think the 1968 one worked best. If reading the original Shakespeare text was all I could go by I would imagine it being set in the setting of Zefirelli's, not in a Californian city. ...read more.

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