Romeo and Juliet - In this essay I shall be showing the changes made by Baz Luhrman in his modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy.
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In this essay I shall be showing the changes made by Baz Luhrman in his modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. I will be using Act 5 scene 3 to show the differences between the original text and film because of the events that unfolded in this scene are of great importance. This scene is one of the last in the book, and therefore brings the whole story to a conclusion. After showing the differences between the versions, I will use my opinion and knowledge of the film and modern audiences to explain why he made these changes. Luhrrman's film is set in Verona Beach, a mythical beach city that appears to be in California. Shakespeare's version was set in Verona during the 16th Century. As Luhrman is attempting to appeal to a more modern audience, he decided to bring the film up to date. One way he could do this is with changing the setting to a more appealing and fun one, a beach seems the ideal choice for the film.
This is not the case, and without having Paris in the scene Romeo's love appears to be the only love there is at the time. Also, the fight disrupts the feeling of peace and tranquillity in the tomb. A fight would grab the attention of the new modern audience, and lead them to forget about the emphasis on love that is trying to be shown in this scene. With characters such as Paris added to the tomb scene, the whole thing is complicated further. Luhrman, it seems, just wants to bring the sharp point of love and the bond between Romeo and Juliet instead of adding characters that will make no difference to the overall outcome of the film. Before Romeo ends his life besides Juliet in the book, he gives a long speech speaking of his love for Juliet, and how he will die to be with her. "Here's to my love" he ends it, before drinking his poison and dying. The speech in the book is very long, and draws on way too much to be given in the film if Luhrman is going to grab his viewer's attention.
Maybe it is because the viewer knows that their love will never be forgotten, and a statue is not necessary to show this. He wants the viewer to know that a statue isn't needed for people to remember the two lovers by, because the story of their tragic romance is going to be enough. The final speech is then said twice. Initially by the prince, and finally by the newsreader. The two main lines are really emphasised at this point, because they outline the film in no uncertain terms. "For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo". To sum things up, most of the changes are made because the film and the play were written in different times and for different audiences. The modern audience would not want to watch a film adaptation that is reminiscent of the original in the way it is presented because they are used to seeing newer things, with more special effects. The original would just bore them. But one thing is for certain, both of the versions tell the same story overall. One of the tragic love between two people, destined to be apart, yet brought together by fate. David Carey
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