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Romeo and Juliet - Movie vs. Book

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Romeo and Juliet - Movie vs. Book


Often times people say that William Shakespeare was and still is a legend.  They

are correct.  It is amazing how Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet written

centuries ago can be better than Franco Zefferelli's movie production of Romeo

and Juliet, which had much better technology to work with only decades ago.

Although the movie appeared better, it left out some major parts.  The play had

better mood and plot details which made it much more dramatic and by far a

better presentation.


One major difference between the play and the movie occurs in mood.  An example

of this is the marriage scene.  In the marriage scene of the play, Romeo and

Juliet act very serious.  The reader can tell this by the way the two speak.

Romeo says that the Holy Words the Friar speaks can make something without an

equal (Act II, Scene 6, Line 4) which is a very intelligent thing to say.

Whereas, in the movie they kiss and giggle the entire time.  This leads the

viewer to believe that Franco Zefferelli wanted the two to look like fools, that

they could not do anything the way it is normally done because they are children

in search of quick love.  This is bad because it is not very realistic.  In

real-life, young adults would take the matter seriously because they know it is

a major step in life.  Because the play is not entirely trying to make the two

look bad, it is the better production.


Another major difference in the mood of the play and the movie is in the funeral

scene.  The funeral scene of the play is a very serious event.  Juliet's family

is very upset and think that they are the cause of her "death".  Also, the Friar

soothes the family of the loss of young Juliet's life (Act IV, Scene 5, Line 65).

 However, in the movie version of the funeral scene, again everyone is sad but

this time the Friar lets out a giggle as he pretends to pray for Juliet.  This

is a major difference because if someone had seen the Friar giggle, it may have

changed the entire play.  They may have questioned him why he giggled but since

he would not have a reason he may just spill what he knows.  Since the movie was

once again unrealistic, the play is the better production in this scene as well.


Some other major differences between the play and the movie occurred in the plot

details.  One example of this is in the beginning of the story.  In the play,

Romeo is just getting over Rosaline "rejecting" him (Act I, Scene 1, Line 155).

This means that he could have just been very upset.  Resulting in him just

grabbing the first thing he could find which just happened to be Juliet.  If he

had never even met Rosaline he probably would have never met Juliet either.

Although in the movie version of this part, all that the viewer knows is that

Romeo is extremely upset from something that was never brought up.  If Franco

Zefferelli had added this to his production it would probably make more sense

that him just leaving it out and having the viewer guess what was the matter

with Romeo.  Due to this difference, the play once again is better because the

plot is more thought out then the movie where the viewer has to guess.


Another difference between the play and the movie in plot details is at the

ending of the entire story.  In the play, the families are finally at peace as

Romeo and Juliet's real funerals take place .  The Montague's even decide to

erect a gold statue of Juliet and the Capulet's shake hand's with them which are

very good signs that the long and bitter feud of the two families is over (Act V,

Scene 3, Line 295).  On the other hand,  the movie only shows that he two

families have come together.  But this is for a reason that virtually and two

groups would come together for-a funeral of one for one of their family members.

All that the families do to acknowledge each other is as they walk into the

church, they turn to face their equal in the opposite family.  This is probably

the biggest difference out of the productions because one of the goal's that

Romeo, Juliet and Friar Laurence had was that this marriage would end the

quarrels.  The play's version of this was better because nobody really wants to

see a sad story which Romeo and Juliet is until the end but the play makes it a

happy story (in a way) by one of Romeo and Juliet's primary goals being

completed, although they had to die for it.


Due to all of the examples listed here, the mood in the marriage scene, the mood

in the funeral scene, and the plot details in the beginning and the end of the

play, the play is without a doubt, the better production.  However, if Franco

Zefferelli had made his movie more as a work of art instead of a production, and

spent a little more time in doing so, he could have had himself one of the best

movies ever, which William Shakespeare did with his play.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Romeo and Juliet - Movie vs. Book." 06 Dec 2016

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