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

Compare how Zeffirelli and Luhrman direct the ending of Romeo and Juliet.

Extracts from this document...


Compare how Zeffirelli and Luhrman direct the ending of Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare's great tragedy Romeo and Juliet was written around 1595. For hundreds of years it was an incredibly popular theatrical performance, staged in thousands of theatres across world. However, in the last century improvements in technology have meant that the popularity of theatre has fallen dramatically as a result of the success of cinema. A world of possibilities was created with the breakthrough of cinema; no longer was the setting confined to one stage and the creativity of the set designers, people could be taken around the world and back whilst sitting in their seats. Endless different techniques could be used to provoke emotions in the audience with the variation of shot angles and distances, not to mention the quality of sounds and music and the incredible special effects that could be achieved as technology progressed ever further. It was inevitable that Shakespeare's enduring, classic yet tragic love story of "star-crossed lovers" Romeo and Juliet would one day make it up onto the big screen. In fact there have been many attempts to recreate the play as a film. Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrman are two of the most successful director's to date to have achieved this, despite the huge contrasts between the films' target audiences, setting and the thirty year gap between the release dates. In 1968 the Florentine director Franco Zeffirelli released his version of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.


The whole idea of Romeo and Juliet is to outline the contrasts and similarities between love and hate, and how these emotions alone can be fatal. The crucifixes and red light produced by the candles will enhance this idea at this crucial point in the film, and may make the message of the film stronger in the viewer's memory. In contrast, covered dead bodies of Juliet's ancestors fill Zeffirelli's catacomb. The bodies remind the viewers of the deaths of the 'star-crossed lovers' that have been foretold in the prologue at the beginning of the film, and so build a feeling of tension and apprehension in the audience as they anticipate the death's of the two lovers. Despite the contrasts on the settings, the predominant colour in both film's endings is blue. This colour symbolises the tragedy and sadness of the situation and enhances the unhappy atmosphere in the audience. A build up in the volume and the intensity of the music is used by both directors to mirror the build up of emotion in Romeo as he approaches Juliet. In Luhrman's film, the orchestral music starts softly as Romeo leaves the small hall, with only a few instruments playing, but as he continues down the aisle of the church, more and more instruments begin playing until the music finally climaxes when Romeo reaches Juliet. This musical build up provokes the viewer to react to the emotional state of Romeo. It may force the viewer to feel a similar emotional build up to Romeo as he experiences anger, heartbreaking grief and many other emotions at the realisation of Juliet's 'death'. ...read more.


After Romeo's death, there is no non-diagetic sound for a period of almost two minutes. The only noises to break the silence are those of Juliet crying and her loading Romeo's gun. The silence surrounding these noises emphasise the importance of the actions that create them. Juliet's crying shows her grief and despair at the loss of her husband and the audience, who are forced to focus on this sound, will empathise with her grief. Luhrman uses close-ups and slow-motion of the movement of the gun to emphasise the significance of the weapon and the action. The slow motion shots show the viewer the formation of the plan, in Juliet's mind, to kill herself. An atmosphere of tension and suspense is created with the emphasis of the sound of the gun being loaded and the slow-motion movement of Juliet bringing the gun to her head as the audience anticipate her death. The sudden loud sound of the gun shot, although it is expected, may startle the viewer. Luhrman uses a bird's eye view of the dead couple which gives the impression looking down on them from a heavenly perspective, interspersed with flashbacks of the happiest moments shared between Romeo and Juliet as a way of reminding the audience that the two lovers died because of their love for one another. The music used in the background is not solemn, as you would expect after the death of two people, but joyous which shows the viewer that Romeo and Juliet are happy to finally be together, that they would much prefer to be together in death than alive but apart. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 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 University Degree Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Free essay

    Discuss the treatment of gender politics in Romeo and Juilet(TM) and Antony and Cleopatra(TM)

    In many ways it could also be asserted that Juliet dominates, to a certain extent, Romeo, again challenging the 'traditional view of Juliet as Romeo's passive beloved by arguing that her languages and actions contain a deeper level of meaning7'.

  2. For never was a story of such woe than that of Juliet and her ...

    and even fails to consider the consequences of giving Juliet the vial. But he ultimately admits his fault in the tragedy when he says, "And here I stand both to impeach and purge myself condemned and myself excused." In the play, there are many pieces of evidence that further reveal the prologue's tragic foretold reality.

  1. What literary devices are used to portray whether Romeo and Juliet is more about ...

    The overuse of light and dark imagery would have offered a visual motif appreciated by all, due to its obviousness. The less sophisticated viewers would have been able to decipher its significance as well as the more educated members of the audience.

  2. Comparative essay on theme of Love in Romeo and Juliet and the Taming of ...

    (III.ii.230-32). We can say that their relationship is based on hierarchy, but not equality. In the case of Lucentio he tries to do is to court Bianca and win her love. In Juliet and Romeo, the equality between the lovers is obvious.


    There also would have been little in the way of props. The female roles were acted by young boys before their voices broke, as women were forbidden by law to act on a public stage. The theatre was divided up into several distinct sections, and the types of people to be found in each part would have been quite different.

  2. Intertextual Relations Between Romeo & Juliet the Play and the Baz Luhrmann Film.

    If you look in Strictly Ballroom, the lovers are in front of a giant, industrial Coke sign. If you look in Romeo + Juliet, the "L'amour" sign interpreted in the Coke version is actually in Romeo + Juliet. If you look at Moulin Rouge the lovers are again singing in front of "L'amour."

  1. Suicide Impulse in Romeo and Juliet.

    Romeo, again, at this point is in a state of depression, he is in love with someone who does not love him. The entire reason he is at this party is to find someone else to replace Rosaline in his heart, according to Mercutio.

  2. "Compare Luhrmann's and Shakespeare's versions of the last scene- the death of Romeo and ...

    The effects in which Shakespeare used were basic and so did not match today's special effects and technology. Sound effects were another key point as today we have sometimes computers to generate the effects but people created mostly these effects.

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