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What is important to Shakespeare in his construction of selected scenes from 'Romeo and Juliet'? How and why is this conveyed? Consider how the dramatists work is developed, modified and enhanced by Zeffirelli and Luhrmann cinematic adaptations.

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Romeo and Juliet Essay Task: What is important to Shakespeare in his construction of selected scenes from 'Romeo and Juliet'? How and why is this conveyed? Consider how the dramatists work is developed, modified and enhanced by Zeffirelli and Luhrmann cinematic adaptations. Targets: 1) Explore alternative approaches and interpretations of material. 2) Convey your ideas coherently, vigorously, enthusiastically and persuasively. Within this essay I am going to study a select few scenes of Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet; act one scene one, act one scene five and act two scene four. Shakespeare starts the play with a prologue, which foretells the story line, I believe this is done so that the reader/viewer can understand the speed and sets the dramatically sad mood, which are the main themes for the play. As Shakespeare briefly relays the play, it makes the reader think that it does not matter if they know what is going to happen yet makes them more interested and curious with the intricate details of the play. In Shakespeare's time language imagery was a great hit with his audience, and the imagery used at the start of this play would have settled the large audience so that he could continue with his play. Zeffirelli (director of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in 1968 set in Verona) uses Shakespeare's prologue to introduce his cinematic interpretation but he cuts down the length, using only lines one too eight. I believe this is to emphasise on Shakespeare's theme of speed, although he may also have cut it because it is more to do with the stage and not really relevant to the cinema going audience. As this is being read out a scene is set of a market stall with a castle like foyer. The reader of the prologues voice is deep and wisdom like as if they was a narrator for the play, I Believe Zeffirelli has done this to etch a sense of mystery and curiosity into the story line. ...read more.


He is wearing black and red to represent the evil and the link to the devil of Tybalt. His name is Abra which could be linked to the Montagues Abraham, I believe Luhrmann has done this to put the balance back, as he had moved Sampson and Gregory to Montague he need to put a character back to the Capulets. In this version the Capulets get the upper hand and control the fight and the argument, although they dominate it via shouting and shooting. Tybalt then steps out of the car lights a match and drops it on the floor. We see him stamp on it wearing metal plated shoes. Then the camera pans up on him like it did on the car. He is wearing black trousers and a red waist coat with an image of Jesus upon the chest. The fire starts to burn when Tybalt drops match into a cross shaped crack in the pavement. Tybalt takes out his 'Sword' which was a hand gun shoots one of the Montagues in the shoulder then aims for Benvolio. The fighting then continues around the streets until officer Prince separates in a helicopter. Capulet and Montague were in two different limos with their ladies and they saw the fight on the news. Capulet asks sternly for his 'long Sword' then lady Capulet says lady Montagues line. In Zeffirelli's version the fighting stops automatically as soon as the Prince is spotted whereas in this version officer Prince doesn't appear to have much control. I believe this is to show that in the modern society the police are not really respected, I believe Luhrmann's version to be much more realistic. A lot of Princes speech is cut to make it easier on the cinema going audience. Romeo is shown walking through the bad area of the town mourning over his loss of Rosaline. Where he sees the events of the day on an old television in a shop window and gets angry with his cousin Benvolio. ...read more.


It shows Mercutio as an experienced gun fighter. A close up on a ring and a necklace with a crucifix on it turning religious imagery into visual images. The nurse is dressed in red and stands out she has no peter with her, possibly because this nurse is portrayed as a more independent women. Mercutio appears to be over friendly towards her and seems jealous when Romeo leaves with the nurse. It changes when the nurse arrives, from it being fun and lively to be being dark and serious. The nurses character changes greatly to emphasise this, she becomes more serious and protective. I believe that Shakespeare found it important to put across his theme of speed, in his text he does this buy overlaying scenes introducing them at similar times to show more than one thing happening at once. In the Zeffirelli's version he does it by creating a very similar setting and time frame to Shakespeare's original. Whereas Luhrmann puts across speed by plashing images and using sound effects to speed along his cinema going audience. I also believe that Shakespeare made an important imprint of religion into his play. He uses a lot of religious imagery and reference to god the bible and the crucifix. Zeffirelli did this by using a lot of worded imagery that Shakespeare had written. Luhrmann showed his religious reference all over the place, from small hard to notice indications like the cross shake crack in the floor to the image of Jesus upon Tybalts chest in the first scene. Also concentrates upon the sad and joking contrasts through out the play, by using alternate characters show this, Benvolio was Shakespeare's peaceful kind hearted character, and Tybalt was his evil counter part. Zeffirelli portrayed this theme using lighting effects and musical help. While introducing characters he would have appropriately suiting music accompanying their entrance. Luhrmann also used sound and lighting effects to do this yet slightly differently, he would use costumes to show mood and character and use sound to help the viewer understand the language. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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