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-With detailed reference to Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, explain how Baz Luhrmann has adapted the scene to appeal to a modern audience.

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Introduction

-With detailed reference to Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, explain how Baz Luhrmann has adapted the scene to appeal to a modern audience. Romeo and Juliet, written in 1595 by William Shakespeare is now studied and respected by people of all ages, in 1997 the play was modernised and adapted by Baz Luhrmann into a box office hit. He succeeded in his aim of creating Shakespeare to appeal to a younger and wider range audience, Luhrmann kept the Shakespearean language, twisted with modernised society in such a way that Shakespeare became easily understood. Guns, cars, violence and drugs were used and included to appeal to a younger audience so that they became interested in Shakespeare. My personal response to this adaptation was positive, I myself found Shakespeare quite hard to understand at times, and to have a modernised film to watch, I believe it was a great choice. With a good selection of settings and characters, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, I think that the film for me was very successful; it identified the issues of the play in an understandable way for this generation. Some historians and researchers believe that Romeo and Juliet was based on a real Italian love story from the 3rd century, and the "real families" were named the Capeletti and the Montecci, however Shakespeare based his plot on the poem written by Arthur Brooke in 1562. Romeo and Juliet was set in a very religious period, it was a Catholic society with strong belief in damnation for mortal sin, suicide and bigamy were known as mortal sins, Shakespeare maybe created the plot to rebel against the sins, to forward the consequences of falling in love with the wrong person, another reason could be to forward the message of how making life's own choices should not be labelled as a sin, however on the other hand Shakespeare could have included these themes because he could portray an important message of the problems committing these sins could cause. ...read more.

Middle

Seeing as Rosaline was the reason Romeo was going to the party in the first place, this also shows how fickle he is because he fell in love with Juliet straight away/ Like today in Shakespearean times, the audience were uneducated in Shakespearean language and some language they didn't understand however the language in the 16th Century, to convey meaning they used black verse, prose and sonnets. Shakespeare uses a vast amount of blank verse in Romeo and Juliet, blank verse consists of a verse line of ten syllables, five stresses but still features iambic pentameter however with no rhyming, hence the word blank, blank verse was normally used in Romeo and Juliet to reinforce the characters rank, and some of the minor characters such as the servants would speak in prose. During Act 1 Scene 5 Romeo speaks a sonnet to Juliet, lines 92 to 105, a sonnet consists of fourteen lines, where each line uses iambic pentameter. In this sonnet he refers to Juliet as a shrine and he is the pilgrim, "this holy shrine... My two lips blushing pilgrims ready stand, to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." Lines 92 to 94, this has a religious meaning of importance, he is worshipping her as a god and demeaning himself, as in even touching the shrine may defile it, but then his lips will be the remedy. Baz Luhrmann set the modernised 20th Century Romeo and Juliet in Mexico City, some parts on Miami and also Veracruz, this is because these are popular cities for parties, well known, also the wealthy live there, the setting in Baz Luhrmann's to that of the play is in very sharp contrast, Shakespeare set the play in Italy because it is romantic, also it could have been set in a foreign country so to not make the English look pity, to show that foreigners are imperfect and the British are perfect. ...read more.

Conclusion

The loss of the two young lovers, the feuding families find reconciliation and peace with one another, and because of this the community is re established. This can be an example of humanism and it has connections to classical feelings like dealing with a tragedy, this has a clear connection to Oedipus by Sophocles and Pyramus and Thisbe by Ovid. There are many similarities and differences between the two versions of Romeo and Juliet, the original play and the film. The basic storyline is kept in the film, however some speech is omitted but it is still easy to follow with the actions, effects and music it creates a massive impact and therefore some of the speech is not needed. I think Baz Luhrmann adapted Romeo and Juliet to a modernised film amazingly; the start of the film certainly captured and engaged me with the gang wars, violence and guns. I do not think that Luhrmann should have changed the language to modern language because then it would ruin the whole effect and idea of Shakespeare and his work, Shakespeare is timeless because of this and relevant to people of all ages. I would definitely love to watch an actually play on Romeo and Juliet to compare the difference and the outcome. The more elaborate costumes and scenery fits in perfectly with modernised society today. I am now more open minded about Shakespeare and find it very interesting. After almost four hundred years difference and Shakespeare is as popular as ever and is still remembered for his fantastic work as well as Romeo and Juliet also Hamlet and Macbeth. Because of this and Shakespeare's popularity his plays and poems are still studied in school today in the GCSE curriculum. The film brought Shakespeare to life, I hope there are many more to come in the future. ?? ?? ?? ?? Becky Jenkins 10EN01 ...read more.

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