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The play 'Romeo and Juliet' was written around 1597 by William Shakespeare.

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Introduction

Media Coursework The play 'Romeo and Juliet' was written around 1597 by William Shakespeare. The play is basically about two families who are enemies. Their children fall in love but unfortunately due to the hatred between their families, their love was doomed and they both take their life. The main themes are love and hate. However there are many other themes within the two main ones: death, religion, revenge, sacrifice are just some of them, and all these themes lead to the contrast between good and evil. The subject of the play is still relevant today because the themes love and hate are an eternal issue that people can relate to. Romeo and Juliet didn't have anything to do with their parent' feud and like all young adults all they wanted to do was to be free and love, but their parent' tradition was pulling them back, not letting them do their own thing and it eventually strangled them. This is why the subject still intrigues the audience, since youth will always want to go its own way, make its life different and will not appreciate family tradition. Antagonism between generations, which is also present as a theme in this play, is an eternal issue as well. ...read more.

Middle

As we see more and more of the Luhrman prologue we start to realize just how serious the feud between the families is and the whole city is dragged into their rivalry. We see scenes of crime and violence, involving a lot of police and all this hostility revolves around the two families. We hear police sirens, helicopter noises and right at the end a gunshot, making everything look and sound hectic and also modern. We are constantly seeing Juliet's father straight after Romeo's father, the same goes for their mothers, their cars, their houses and so on. I think that by doing this Luhrman is making us involuntarily compare the two families and see just how alike they are in everything; this consequently means that Romeo and Juliet's upbringing is exactly the same. Maybe this is why they get along so well and understand each other perfectly. Also this helps us follow who is who, fulfilling the traditional role of a prologue. If we look at the early version we can see the opposite point of view. We see land being divided by a river, here the two riverbanks could be the Montagues and the Capulets and the river is the symbol of everything that divides them. ...read more.

Conclusion

By 1995 the story of Romeo and Juliet was so well known that everybody knew the ending. So Luhrman doesn't try to deceive us from the beginning by giving us a falsely hopeful mood of the prologue. The music prepares the audience for a tragedy. I found the Luhrman version the most effective and I think this is mostly because I am used to films that have lots and lots of special, visual and sound effects. However it is also effective because Luhrman managed to bring it into the real world really well without changing much of the plot at all. Even though he used lots of special effects and computer technology he was still able to put across the initial feeling of young and desperate love. I also feel that since I am used to modern films I can't judge objectively the Zeffirelli version because I simply find it boring. However I think this version was still successful at the time it was made. I think that this version is a traditional and time-honoured screening of a classic play bringing the audience the very soul and feeling of the era. Written by: Inna Goman 1 ...read more.

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