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Two directors Zefirelli and Luhrmann had taken Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' love tragedy and had modified it into their own version of 'Rome and Juliet'.

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Year 10 GCSE Media Assignment Two directors Zefirelli and Luhrmann had taken Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' love tragedy and had modified it into their own version of 'Rome and Juliet'. Their interpretation of 'Romeo and Juliet' is based in very different decades. Zefirelli shows his version of 'Romeo and Juliet' based around in the 15th century, with costumes which they would wear in the Shakespearean times, so that it may help viewers to understand more effectively on what the characters are talking about and may help the mood of 15th century characters settle in, whereas Luhrmann sets his version of 'Romeo and Juliet' during the 20th century creating a modern atmosphere but with Shakespearean language so that the 'Romeo and Juliet' story has not lost the touch of Shakespeare's writing; the 20th century also helps viewers on what the characters are talking about without them understanding the Shakespearean language, because of the settings and actions. In the story of 'Romeo and Juliet' there is a point to which the story takes a step from romance to tragedy when the beloved friend of Romeo, Mercutio is killed by Juliet's cousin Tybalt. I am going to compare the ways Zefirelli and Lurhmann potray the death of Mercutio in their own version. The scene on ' Mercutios death' in Zefirelli's version of'Romeo and Juliet' starts of as a very blurry vision and this is because Mercutio has a white cloth covering his face; this may mean the appearance of a spirit/ghost pointing out to the viewer that something is going to happen to Mercutio. ...read more.


The atmosphere is dark and looks as if the sky is creating a storm; this presents the tension on the viewers, telling them that things are not going to go very smoothly. Benvolio is trying his hardest to holler over the gunshots created by Mercutio, telling him to leave the beach, which is telling the viewers that Benvolio senses something and wants Mercutio to leave the beach as soon as possible. The camera then cuts the shot from Mercutio shooting into the sea, to Benvolio and Mercutio walking and talking over each other, they both then settle down on a table along with the other Monatgues. Suddenly a roar of rock type music is blasted and screeches of a car, showing the viewers the 'grand' entrance of Tybalt on the beach. This gets the attention of everyone on the beach including the Montagues, and makes Benvolio feel awkward and tells Mercutio: "By my head here come the Capulets" Mercutio responds by saying: "By my heal, I care not" smiling, making himself comfortable by lifting his feet, resting them ontop of the table. Tybalt then walks towards Mercutio, stops and says: "Follow me close, for I will speak to them. Gentlemen, good den, a word with one of you" Mercutio seems to be humorous and answers Tybalt "And but one word with one of us? ...read more.


Luhrmann brings the sorrowful emotions of a friend loosing his best friend. The emotions Romeo lets out, makes an impact on the viewers. Of sadness. The fight sequence is extremely different to how Zefirelli expresses. Comparing the two directors Lurhmanns version seems more brutal with blood, anguish and pain. Unlike Zefirelli's version seems more of the softer approach with only some emotion. Hence, Zefirelli's version had a very strong way of changing the mood continuously with having a high point of tension and then a tragic atmosphere. In conclusion, I prefer Lurhmann's version, because it was more understandable, on how he had modern day characters extracted from 'Romeo and Juliet' speaking Shakespearean which seemed to be a way which everyone talked, and was not spoken as speeches. Also it was a very good idea to have a type of colour for each the Montagues and Capulets so you could understand which character belonged to which family. I thought that Zefirelli's version was also good, although it did lack in music which only played once which was cello music as Mercutio was dying and special affects. The clothes that the characters wore were very '15th century' and went well with how Shakespeare must have presented his plays with the same sort of clothes, so it gave off a very historic feeling to the play. All in all I enjoyed both plays and though they were both unique in their own way. By Poonam Patel ...read more.

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