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Why Shakespeare thought Romeo and Juliet would be a successful play and why Luhrman thought it could be adapted successfully

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Why Shakespeare thought Romeo and Juliet would be a successful play and why Luhrman thought it could be adapted successfully into a film Although William Shakespeare wrote the story of 'Romeo and Juliet' in the 1500s, the themes depicted in the play had been around for centuries. It was a classic tragic love story. William Shakespeare needed his story to appeal and be accessible to as many people as possible. The main problem was that many people at the time could not read, therefore producing a book was pointless. So he decided to write the story of 'Romeo and Juliet' as a play that people could go and see at the theatre. The play was very successful and was shown at important theatres such as the Globe in London. Thousands saw it. In 1996 the film producer Baz Luhrman decided to make a film of 'Romeo and Juliet'. He too needed to make the story appealing to the modern, mass cinema-going population. William Shakespeare thought that Romeo and Juliet could be a successful play because it related to everyday life and issues of the 16th century. However, Shakespeare included more humour and action in his play than Luhrman did in his film. He thought that including scenes such as the ones that dealt with Juliet's resentment to her arranged marriage, would appeal to audiences' imagination and bring more people to watch the play being performed. ...read more.


In the play when the nurse tells Juliet that the boy she has just fallen in love with is the son of her enemy, Mercutio pulls Romeo away as Romeo realises who Juliet really is. In the film, when Romeo leaves the party he continues to look for Juliet in his car. He sees her and jumps out and runs to her balcony. This scene is much more effective in the film. As Romeo and Juliet are sneaking around outside they both know that if they are caught then there will be a heavy price to pay. Although everyone knows the outcome of the play, there is still a lot of suspense and we want to know what happens to them both. All audiences want to feel involved in the performance they are watching and both the play and film achieve this. We have a different relationship to the different characters. For example we feel sad when Mercutio dies but when Tybalt is murdered we feel justice has been done. In fact different feelings are stirred about every individual in both the play and film. They achieve this in the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt, by making Mercutio into a good friend and light-hearted leader, whereas Tybalt is shown as a coward. The deaths of the two characters are presented differently to make the audience feel very strongly about different characters. ...read more.


I believe that another big factor that helped Shakespeare and Luhrman achieve success with their versions was the use of theatrical language they used. This language help the reader get a big sense of love from Romeos famous balcony scene, to hate from the two opposing families. This type of language was very important as it makes the story sound far more real. The language is very open and it is like anything in the persons mind is spoken, revealing everybody's true feelings. The two versions do differ however in there use of dramatic theatrical language. The script as written by Shakespeare includes far more soliloquies, in which the reader is shown character true deepest thoughts. This was very typical of Shakespeare as he included these in many of his plays such as Macbeth. The play on the other hand used more one-on-one convocations as this is far easier for a modern audience to relate to. Shakespeare and Luhrman were both successful with their adaptations of Romeo and Juliet. I believe that this was achieved by linking every part of the play and film to ordinary people of the times in which they were set. This was anything down to the clothes worn on set, the special effects used and the music being played in the background. These aspects helped the two men to become world famous and millions worldwide had access to one of the most famous love stories even written. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Kurt Fisher 11KG ...read more.

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