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Using Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet and Baz Lurhmanns' film version (1997) comment on how Lurhmann offers his audience a very contemporary interpretation of a 16th century play.

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Romeo and Juliet Essay Using Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet and Baz Lurhmanns' film version (1997) comment on how Lurhmann offers his audience a very contemporary interpretation of a 16th century play. Use acts one scene one and act three scene one to discuss the dramatic devices used in both versions and how they impact on their audience. How does Shakespeare contribute to the personalities and motivations of his characters? How does Lurhmann reinforce such characterisations? Which version did you prefer? Why? Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet was written between fifteen ninety-four and fifteen ninety-seven, but was first printed in fifteen ninety-nine. Shakespeare wrote his play knowing that his target audience would be nearly all of the Elizabethan society, this was because when Shakespeare was a play writer the theatre was one of the main forms of entertainment. Shakespearean theatres where very basic, they where circular or hexagonal with a size around eighty square feet, they where open top with three tiers of seats around all edges to give the audience many angles to watch the play from. The stage was against one wall and came half way into the theatre. There was a door on both sides of the stage for actors to enter and leave the stage. There was a small upper stage that would have been used for legendary scenes such as the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene. ...read more.


There are many themes to the movie and one of these is the hate between the Capulets and Montagues, the fight in the first act helped to strongly identify this along with quotes such as "The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men" which is said by Gregory a loyal Capulet servant willing to fight for the Capulet household. Lurhmanns opening appeals to a younger audience because it has a contemporary setting with sporty cars and modern weapons. Benvolio is clearly identified as being a peace keeper in the first conversation which he has, he says "Part fools, put up your sword, you know not what you do" he is the sort of character which would rather avoid the trouble than get involved, when Tybalt enters the scene Benvolio says "I do but keep the peace" which also identifies him as the peace keeper. Benvolio tried to avoid the brawl in act three scene one when Mercutio was stabbed when he tried to persuade him to leave. Lady Capulets nephew Tybalt is a character which is the complete opposite to Benvolio he is described as "The courageous captain of compliments" and is very loyal to his family, Tybalt is not a man of peace he shows this when he says "What drawn and talk of peace? ...read more.


This scene affects the rest of the movie leading to Romeo and Juliets deaths. Shakespeare wrote his play knowing that his audience would have been most of the Elizabethan society as there was no other public entertainment, he also knew that he would only be using male actors as it was seen as being unacceptable for women to act in theatres. The play was presented on an open-air stage with no music or special effects, also if you made a mistake there were no cuts, as it wasn't pre-recorded. Lurhmann produced the film to be aimed at young audiences who like special effects and dramatic scenes. Lurhmann had a great advantage when making the film because he could use audio and visual effects to keep the audience interested. If there was a problem with a scene in the movie it cut have been redone so there wasn't that pressure on the contemporary actors. The play Romeo and Juliet had two main themes which was the hate between the two families and young love between Romeo and Juliet, these two themes are very relevant to day, it is like nothing has really changed in society since Shakespearean times. I prefer to watch the movie because it was very dramatic and had a lot of visual effects which helped to emphasise certain scenes and the cliffhanging moments which kept me on the edge of my seat. Andrew Hemmington - Page English ZNA 1 ...read more.

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