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

Discuss the effectiveness of the transformation of the Desert Scene from text to screen.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the effectiveness of the transformation of the Desert Scene from text to screen. Baz Luhrmann has used many very effective film techniques in transforming the Mantua scene from text to screen. Through the choice of specific setting, music and camera techniques, he has emphasised the role of fate and haste in the lovers' tragedy. The setting of Mantua in a barren, desert environment reinforces the isolation of Romeo's banishment. With the harsh, unrelenting sun engulfing the scene with a strong orange light, it provides a stark contrast to earlier scenes where the love between Romeo and Juliet blossomed. The desert is a sterile environment, where in the absence of water, life ceases to exist. Baz Luhrmann has effectively employed the visual juxtaposition of water and desert to convey Romeo's isolation. Even the caravans, a temporary residence, are situated far apart. But the desert does not only convey a literal setting, it is also symbolic of Romeo's emotional desert. Without Juliet, Romeo's life is barren and sterile. This metaphorical setting highlights the depth and true love between Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.


It builds up to a climax for the fateful news, yet the scene is silent as Romeo receives the misinformed news. The silence allows Romeo to absorb the revelations, yet the audience is drawn into the action with this dramatic irony and we watch in anguish at the consequences of Balthasar's mistake. The music changes again near the end of the scene, where it becomes a throbbing, relentless pulse. The strong beat forewarns of the actions that are going to take place, and builds up tension in the audience. The scene begins with the camera slowly sweeping across the desert and the next shot is a close-up focus on Romeo's face. This close-up shot is very important as it reveals many small details. We are able to clearly identify with Romeo's emotions, but more importantly, we are reminded by the scar and ring of dominating issues in the film. The scar is a remnant of Romeo's fight with Tybalt and symbolises the violence and hatred in Verona. Violence and social decay is one of the main ideas explored by Baz Luhrmann in the film and the scar shows that even in isolation, Romeo can never completely escape from the realities of Verona society. ...read more.


The long angle shot afterwards show Romeo and Balthasar as tiny figures in a vast expanse of desert and lead to the idea of fate in the tragedy. It seems almost as if Romeo is overpowered by external forces, a small puppet on a large stage where he has no control over events. The central idea of fate is further reinforced by Romeo treading over the "urgent" telegram. The audience sees clearly how close the film was to a happy ending and fate is encapsulated by the final dramatic irony, where the mailman watches Romeo speeding off in haste, moments too late. The terrible timing of events show haste to also be a deciding factor in the chain of events, with the first shot of Balthasar overtaking the mail-van in his haste to reach Romeo and ending with Romeo speeding off, leaving the consequential telegram behind. Baz Luhrmann's has very successfully conveyed the ideas in the Shakespearean text through the use of effective film techniques. His choice of a desert environment, use of camera angles and music reinforces the role of fate and haste in the tragedy and reminds us that the juxtaposition of love and violence is never far away. ...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. Was Friar Laurence to blame for Romeo and Juliets deaths?

    Section 4 In act five scene 3, Friar Laurence asks Friar John to deliver the letter to Romeo, telling all of his plot and of Juliet's deep slumber. But Friar John would no take the letter to Romeo, nor would any messenger, due to their fear of infection from Romeo,

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

    Paris tells him to go no further! The characters in this event were Romeo, Paris and the Page. I think this event is important and creates tension with a lot of sympathy because it leads onto a major fight, it shows tension in a sense that Paris is stopping the enraged Romeo.

  1. Free essay

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

    Montague's which is based on masculine honour; 'is the law on our side if I say 'Ay' before insulting the Montague's' (1.1.42). In stark contrast to the physical bravado the scene also introduces us to whimsical Romeo, who is lovesick over a girl called Rosaline.

  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.

  1. Suicide Impulse in Romeo and Juliet.

    Both Romeo and Juliet were also displeased with the feud happening between their two houses, they can see what their families cannot. The war between the two households is pointless and will solve nothing.

  2. Compare the way in which Luhrmann and Zeffirelli introduce the characters of Romeo and ...

    Then Romeo is shut out from the injured man because the door is slammed in his face. This is a reminder of the feud between the two families and after his event, Romeo flounces off which suggests he no longer wants to be a part of it.

  1. With reference to Romeo and Juliet what makes the play a tragedy?

    Whole misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents' strife.' This quotation implies that even from the very beginning, the young couple were doomed. 'Star-crossed' refers to the astrological outlook on destiny that was much more widely accepted when Shakespeare wrote his tragedy.

  2. Contrast the first occasion when Romeo and Juliet are together, at the Ball, Act ...

    Romeo informed Balthazar he only wishes to see Juliet and retrieve a ring from her finger. Balthazar then leaves, but hides in the shadows of the churchyard; he is concerned for Romeo's welfare. The atmosphere created here is tense as Paris is hiding in the shadows; there is also a

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