• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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.

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    This shows her devotion to Romeo to the audience but to her mother and father this would show a sign of stubbornness. This part of the scene is very dramatic because of the pace, and how tempers rise between members of the family.

  2. Views of love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    Referring to this she does everything in order that Juliet will be able to "seek happy nights to happy days" (I, iii, 106). After having met Romeo and having settled the time for the wedding with him, she tells Juliet that she "[...] must another way to fetch a ladder

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Romeo.

    Romeo agrees, and realizes his love for Juliet is true. He understands what he felt for Rosaline must have been infatuation. Friar Lawrence also says "Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell" He mean that Romeo's love for Rosaline, was like someone who, reads, by learning the

  2. How does Baz Luhrmann use film techniques to make Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" more ...

    to the sides of the stage just like they would in a real theatre production leaving the dead Mercutio lying motionless centre stage. At various parts in the film the acting shoots back to the theatre arch at Sycamore Grove and ideally near the end after both Romeo and Juliet

  1. Analyse the way in which Baz Luhrmann uses Cinematic devices in the opening scenes ...

    cleverly used the idea of naming the guns brand name 'sword', this way he could incorporate guns, which would mean that the film would attract a wider audience, and add more action to the film. The camera zooms in close to the gun and we see "Sword 9mm" on the barrel.

  2. Compare the suicide scenes from two different film versions of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'

    She is surrounded by many neon lights and an assortment of candles, statues of angels and lilies creating a fairytale image 'sleeping beauty', a beautiful pure image. As Romeo walks towards Juliet the music slowly builds up, and when he finally reaches her the music had achieved a climax, a crescendo.

  1. How successful is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Representing William Shakespeare's ...

    Luhrmann chose this setting because it is a public place and a potential fire hazard, and it is a hot day with no water in sight so no love is around and it is perfect conditions for a fire, which is significant as their rivals pull up in their dark, tinted windowed, covered car.

  2. Comparing how Themes are represented in Baz Luhrmann's Production of Romeo and Juliet and ...

    Fate has such control, the prologue predicts the tragedy: ?From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life...?; ?fatal loins? shows Death?s and Fate?s involvement from birth; ?star-crossed lovers take their life? reinforces this, because fate made them meet and commit suicide.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work