Comparing and Contrasting Shakespeare's Play Romeo and Juliet and the Movie Version

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Comparing and Contrasting Shakespeare's Play Romeo and Juliet and the Movie Version

"[. . . E]mblems of mafia gang-land hostility: guns, fast cars, and tattoos [. . .]" (Walker 5) are not the usual images found in a Shakespearean play. Baz Luhrmann's 1996 production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is:

[. . .] told in a setting [. . .] that is modern and yet unfamiliar: a world where the youth might conceivably always go armed; a world where love can still be so thwarted and endangered; where the innocence and passion of the protagonists can be so out of step with the current mood. (Hamilton 3)

The original drama and the 1996 movie production have more differences than similarities that can be seen in comparing them both. The scenes and the language in the movie are easier to understand than reading the play because of the modern day setting and the conversational use of Shakespeare's language. In the movie, the hatred that is held between the Montague and Capulet families and leads to the destruction of the love that is found between Romeo and Juliet is portrayed more clearly than in the play. The feud between the two families can be seen in the characters and the scenes compared in the play and the movie.

In the first act of Shakespeare's play, Tybalt, who is a member of the Capulet family, is upset at Benvolio, who is a member of the Montague family. Benvolio has drawn his sword in order to "keep the peace" (Shakespeare 1.1). Tybalt's hatred toward the Montague family can be seen in the following passage to Benvolio: "What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, / As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee [. . .]" (Shakespeare 1.1). Samuel Taylor Coleridge suggests that "Tybalt is a man abandoned to h...

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...or Why William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and

Juliet' Deserves Another Look." Literature/Film Quarterly 28.2 (2000): 118-124. 7

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Walker, Elsie. "Pop Goes the Shakespeare: Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet." Literature/Film Quarterly 28.2 (2000): 132-139. 7 April 2001.

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William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Dir. Baz Luhrmann. Twentieth Century Fox. 1996.

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