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Romeo & Juliet, how effective has Baz Luhrman's film treatement been to suitable for modern audiences.

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Introduction

On 16 April 1564, the time Elizabeth I was Queen of England. William Shakespeare was christened in the prosperous market-town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. His father was a tradesman who in the same town not only sold gloves but made them too. He was educated in the grammar school also in this town. It is known that he did not go to university when he left school. It is not known what Shakespeare did but many people think Shakespeare worked in his father's business after he left school. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18. In 1583 she became the mother of his daughter, Susanna, and of twins in 1885. At the time in which Shakespeare lived many people married at a young age. This may seem a little strange to many people nowadays. But the life expectancy was very low compared to how it is today. This was because not much was known about the causes of death and how the body works. In that time they did not have much technology. They did not even know about hygiene. William Shakespeare wrote 'Romeo and Juliet' between 1596 and 1598. It is one of the world's most famous love stories. It is staged frequently and has been made into a film. The play is based on a long poem written by an Englishman, Arthur Brooke, in 1562. But Brooke probably found the story in old French and Italian books and rewrote it. Shakespeare, in any case, added details of his own - and put into it some of the most beautiful and poetic words he ever wrote. The play is about the story of two lovers, Romeo and Juliet who fell in love and had to marry in secret because their parents and family were engaged in a bitter feud with each other. The very first lines of the play tell us about this long-standing quarrel, Two households, both alike in dignity (in fair Verona, where we lay our scene) ...read more.

Middle

This adds great tension. It is so powerful that even people who know the ending find it very gripping. He calls to Tybalt, whose body lies close by, and begs his forgiveness. It is as if his death is going to be avenged by his suicide. He prepares to die beside his wife, drinks the poison as if it was a toast to Juliet, it works quickly, and he kisses Juliet and dies. Friar Laurence comes hurrying towards the vault. He meets Balthasar, who tells him that Romeo has already entered the vault, and hints that Romeo has fought and slain some unknown person. The Friar goes into the vault and sees the bodies of Paris and Romeo. At this point Juliet stirs and speaks to the Friar, whom she sees before her. A sound of people approaching is heard. The Friar is anxious to hasten away. He shows Juliet the bodies of Paris and Romeo, and urges her to fly with him. She refuses to leave the vault and he goes alone. Juliet now turns to her beloved whom she is resolved to follow into death. She first tries to drain the bottle of poison, which is empty, then kisses his lips in the hope of poisoning herself that way. She is distraught to find that Romeo's lips are still warm. Then, disturbed by the noise of the Watchman approaching, Juliet seizes Romeo's dagger and stabs herself: This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die. The lovers are dead, reunited, and the tragedy is over. There seems to be an anti-climax, which follows, but this is necessary to complete the story by making public see what has happened and reuniting the families. Paris's servant shows the Watchman the site of the tomb. They find Paris, Romeo and Juliet newly dead after searching for them. Prince Escalus and the Capulet and Montague families are summoned, and Balthasar and the Friar are taken into custody. ...read more.

Conclusion

She wakes up after her deep sleep and starts talking straight way. This shows un-realism as she has slept for ages. It is very different to the play. Romeo dies before she wakes up in the play. He dies much calmer than he should have especially compared to what the man said who sold it to him. It zooms in on faces a lot then zooms out to see candles then a close up. There is slow motion as she goes for the gun instead of sword compared to with the play. As soon as the gunshot comes out it zooms out and then zooms in again. There are then flashbacks with a good technique being used. It is first still then a white flash followed by black and white or dim to show T.V screen it then zooms out from T.V and ends like it starts getting smaller, fading away. The basic story line remains the same but I think he has changed some parts for the better. There are parts in the play, which the audience find annoying like the fact that Romeo dies so close to Juliet's wakening. In the film he makes it so they are both awake which gives a sense of relief. He has also done this successfully would out changing the basics principle of it and the ending. He also makes it more exciting by adding guns with some of them with the writing 'sword 9mm'. There is also car chases and modern cities which adds a good atmosphere to the film. One thing that people may not like however is the old language but I think that it is good to hear Shakespeare's poetic writings on screen. And if this was changed then there could have been just a little too much change in it. I think it is amazing how he changes all this but at end of it. It's just like Shakespeare's classic if you come to think about it. So I have come to the following conclusion, Baz Luhrman has been very effective and successful in his film treatment. ...read more.

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