"Compare Luhrmann's and Shakespeare's versions of the last scene- the death of Romeo and Juliet. How do both versions create tension and sympathy in the audience?"

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Introduction

"Compare Luhrmann's and Shakespeare's versions of the last scene- the death of Romeo and Juliet. How do both versions create tension and sympathy in the audience?" The two versions are very different because of the huge time differences and how Shakespeare had to use his imagination to create atmosphere rather than relaying on modern media techniques such as lighting, sounds and special effects. The main characters in Shakespeare's version of Romeo and Juliet in the last scene are Paris, Balthazar, Romeo, Juliet and Friar Lawrence. In Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet he misses out scenes, which were originally in Shakespeare's version. Baz Luhrmann misses out vital scenes, for example when Paris and Romeo have a fight. This scene was the original from Shakespeare's version of the play. The fight scene between Romeo and Paris was essential because it tells us what Romeo encountered before he got to Juliet and where she was laying. "I do defy thy conjuration and apprehend thee for a felon here." Another important character is Friar Lawrence he went to the tomb and found Romeo dead, Friar Lawrence was also there when Juliet was waking up from her deep sleep.

Middle

They can do this because when the person pulls the trigger you always have to wait a couple of seconds before it fires by that time tension has already built up and the audience would feel more in there seats than if a sword was being used. Another example Luhrmann creates is a car chase with the police to the church. When the audience see something like that they feel that there is going to be some kind of action or dramatic ending thus creating an excellent tension maker. Baz Luhrmann is not limited in what he can do or create. Shakespeare in the other hand is very limited he can't do very much and can't create special effects, for example car chases. William Shakespeare wrote his plays for the people of his time. Shakespeare wrote his plays because that was about the only entertainment there was in his era, there wasn't televisions or radios there were only things like plays to go and see. Baz Luhrmann in the other hand is trying to sell his films to teenagers this is because of all the action and fighting in his films, his version of Romeo and Juliet had lots of fighting for example at the start when Tybolt and Benvolio fight with there swords, but actually there swords were guns.

Conclusion

You feel that there is a lot of sympathy in Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet because you can see the actual play on screen, but on Shakespeare's you only get a script and you cant show emotion on paper. We also feel sympathy when Paris requests to lie by Juliet's body, "O' I am slain! If thou be merciful, open the tomb, lay me with Juliet." Another major sympathy point is that Romeo and Juliet are dying due to forced marriages this is a social context. Finally I think that both versions of the play create tension and sympathy excellently but this is in there own creative way. As we already know Baz Luhrmann's version of the play is more targeted to teenagers, the play is still creating tension as well as sympathy this is because this version of the play holds the structure of Shakespeare's original version. On the other hand Shakespeare has created a version that does create tension and sympathy but in an entirely different way too Baz Luhrmann's, Shakespeare is the original creator of the play "Romeo and Juliet" so therefore the play has what he required. To end I would say that Baz Luhrmann's version has the benefit of modern day technology but Shakespeare doesn't. They both create tension and sympathy but in there very own unique ways. By Sanjay Patel

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