How effective do you find Zeffirelli's interpretation of the death scene in "Romeo and Juliet"?

Authors Avatar

How effective do you find Zeffirelli’s interpretation of the death scene in “Romeo and Juliet”?

I think Zeffirelli’s interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” is quite successful at expressing how he feels the play should be shown. He uses lots of techniques to make the play enjoyable, appealing and imaginative. To do this he uses different camera angles, realistic scenery, costumes, sounds and music. He cut some scenes that he didn’t think were particularly relevant to the storyline, and added some lines for effect.

He has a love theme playing throughout the film that is played in minor and major keys depending how he wants the audience to feel. It is played in minor key when something bad is about to happen, for example when Romeo takes the poison, and in minor key when something good happens, like when Juliet wakes up from her “death”. He uses variations of this theme depending on whether he wants the audience to feel happy or sad. He also uses some diagetic sounds, like birds tweeting in the churchyard scene, to make it seem more realistic. As Friar Laurence enters the tomb, there is no music because we are not supposed to feel sorry for him. When Juliet is waking up, Zeffirelli uses the love theme, starting quietly, and gradually getting louder to signify the life entering her, this is very effective. The funeral scene does not have any sound apart from the bells ringing very sombrely and echoing around the courtyard; this makes it feel bleak and depressing, as a funeral in these circumstances should be.

Join now!

He makes some cuts to the plot that he doesn’t think are particularly relevant or would spoil the way he expresses the characters. He cuts the death of Paris to keep the audience thinking that Romeo is a pleasant person. He cuts the messenger getting stuck in an inn with the plague so the audience just assume that Balthazar got there first. Romeo appears much more unprepared in the film than he does in the play because you do not see him buying the poison and he doesn’t bring a crowbar to open the tomb with, so he ends up ...

This is a preview of the whole essay