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With reference to Act I scene I and Act III scene I of Shakespeare's 'Romeo And Juliet', how successful do you feel that Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Lurhman have been in interpreting the theme of feuding in their respective films?

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Introduction

Romeo And Juliet With reference to Act I scene I and Act III scene I of Shakespeare's 'Romeo And Juliet', how successful do you feel that Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Lurhman have been in interpreting the theme of feuding in their respective films? Which of these do you prefer and why? In this essay I will suggest how each of the directors use music, camera shots, language, mood, clothing, special effects and location settings to demonstrate the build up of tension between the house of Montague and the house of Capulet, with correlation to Act I scene I and Act III scene I. I will compare the films and in conclusion voice my opinion on each. In the very first part of act I scene I the first people we are introduce to are Benvolio, Sampson and Gregory. We follow them as they drive their car through the streets of fair Verona being boisterous but entertaining so we are immediately on their side as the mood becomes more serious as the Montagues arrive. In both films, each director uses a public place for Act I scene i. Franco Zeffirelli uses a market place where as Baz Lurhman uses a petrol station. ...read more.

Middle

This may be a metaphor for cowboys and Indian who are questionably the most memorable adversaries in history, which may be trying to say that the Montagues and Capulets are following in their footsteps. I will now discuss how each director uses S.F.X (special effects) and how each director chooses to position his camera. Zeffirelli uses mainly wide screen shots of large groups of people. At the beginning of Act III Scene I he shoots Romeo and Mercutio talking in a court yard and even though its only the two of them in the shot, Zeffirelli still opts for a wider picture as if there was a huge crowd. As Zeffirelli's film was created quite a few years before Baz Lurhman's, there is obviously not going to be as many special effects although, he does use some mild stunts like sword fights and Mercutio falling down a flight of stairs as he dies. Baz Lurhman juxtaposes the sense of overwrought with slapstick humour. Lurhman uses a wider variation of special effects and he is definitely more creative with his camera shots. He uses a range of close ups (shots of a largish part of someone's body e.g: face, legs, arms) and extreme close ups (shots of a small part of someone's body e.g: eyes, mouth, feet, hands). ...read more.

Conclusion

Mercutio decides he will fight on behalf of Romeo but then Romeo arrives. He refuses to fight Tybalt. Tybalt will not let him get out of it. Romeo is kicked to the floor and hit by Tybalt until he pulls out his gun on Tybalt, although he doesn't pull the trigger. Mercutio hits Tybalt so they duel. Romeo intervenes as in Zeffirelli's film, and Mercutio is stabbed. He goes to the top of a stage and shouts "a plague on both your houses". This shows he blames both houses for his death. Even though Mercutio isn't a Capulet Tybalt killed him because he is associated with the Capulets. In conclusion, my opinion is that Baz Lurhman's version of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is more successful in proving to us how tense the feud between the houses actually is. I believe this because the actors are more emotional whilst they are speaking and they are more enthusiastic in each mood type for example act I scene I, at the garage, Benvolio and Tybalt sound as if they are capable of killing each other with speech. I believe the reason for my opinion is that Franco Zeffirreli's film was made so long ago that the acting which may have seemed very serious in it's time now seems almost pathetic as the tension takes a long time to be shown. ...read more.

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