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The work of Shakespeare has been a topic of much debate and consideration over the years.

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Introduction

The work of Shakespeare has been a topic of much debate and consideration over the years. This essay however seeks to specifically address how the written Shakespeare text that has been represented in a different mediums. I will be examining the film production of Romeo and Juliet as directed by Baz Luhrmann, a modern adaptation of the tale and a film with a more traditional approach, in relation to how they compare with one another. I will be specifically considering the balcony scene from this play. The play in question is based upon two lovers Romeo a Juliet, love is seen as the premise of this tale, but love simply isn't the only theme. A feud exists between the lovers families, which hastily begins much subdivision to the plot and ultimately the demise of the lovers. The play is described as a classic passionate love story. This play is very emotive dealing with violence, death, revenge, murder, hate, lust and loyalties, which are questioned, though out. The scenes that build up to the balcony scene primarily establish the atmospheric tension as a result the hostility between the families, and how in turn this affects the young lovers. Romeo is characterised at the beginning of this play as being heartbroken over his failed romance with Rosaline, as the lines, "Out of her favour where I am in love" convey. In an attempt to cheer him up Peter and Mercutio give Romeo, an invitation to the Capulet party where Rosaline is expected to attend. ...read more.

Middle

She retreats towards the doorway of her room, feeling violated and unsure about Romeo's presence, because of their families 'hatred towards each other. The interaction between them is forbidden, she turns to run inside until she halted by Romeo's confession. In that if given the opportunity, he would choose to deny the Monague name for her. Surprised and pleased on hearing this Juliet returns to Romeo. As the scene continues, Juliet explains to Romeo the consequences that they would face if they were to be caught together. He hides behind the tree branches protecting himself a she sadly and amorously gazes at him. Romeo speaks of a lack of satisfaction and Juliet turns in shock, seeking the definition of his statement. Their palms touch, with their arms extended, then they embrace again, kissing passionately. As Romeo kisses Juliet's neck she professes her true love for him, only to be interrupted by the nurse's call. She leaves telling him to wait at the end of the balcony, on returning they promptly discuss their plans for the next day, kiss palms and say goodnight. She extends her arms towards him and he impulsively climbs back up the tree to hold her and kiss her again. The camera moves to tree branches with the morning sky behind them, a rooster crows softly in the distance. It is morning, and Romeo again descends into the tree with Juliet holding onto his hand. Their hands remain extended toward one another as Romeo moves further into the darkness. They innocently blow each other one last kiss and Juliet returns into her home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although humor and a touch more of suspense s added to the scene, it doesn't take any of the romantic and poetic feel away. I feel more passion is felt in Luhrmann interpretation of the scene as the characters are seen to be constantly embracing. When both of the young lovers fall into the pool they stare deeply into each other's eyes and the camera remains in a close-up to capture their expressions. Juliet looks down upon Romeo as he gently touches her cheek, then kisses he passionately, I think the water creates a more sensual scene. Although there are parallels related in these films ( i.e. Juliet wears white in both films) it is apparent that the are very different interpretations of this Shakespearean scene. When it comes down to which version is more audience friendly, it is simply a matter of opinion. The first direction would appeal more to the traditionalist because it is done in the typical Elizabethan style expected by Shakespeare readers. The actors in his film were predominantly British and spoke the Elizabethan dialect flawlessly. Baz Luhrmann's direction would more than likely appeal to the modernist because of the comtemporly themes. I enjoyed both the contemporary mordon version and the more traditional film, but the one that most appealed to me most would have been Baz Luhrmanns version. I felt it being set in modern time, gave the characters more realism as I could relate with the characters environment. I personally felt that Luhrmanns film bought the two crossed lovers of the past to life. Lurmaann captures the passion and emotions of youth by giving an old story a new look. ...read more.

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