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Comparing the Opening Scenes of the Zeffirelli and Luhrmann Versions of Romeo and Juliet

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Comparing the Opening Scenes of the Zeffirelli and Luhrmann Versions of Romeo and Juliet

This essay will focus on how Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann

portray the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet. The traditional

version of Romeo and Juliet was directed by Franco Zeffirelli in which

Leonard Whiting played Romeo and Olivia Hussey played Juliet. This

version was made in 1968 and aimed at the older audience. It was made

in a way that was more accessible to the way Shakespeare wrote it. The

modern version of Romeo and Juliet was directed by Baz Luhrmann. In

this version, the character of Romeo was played by Leonardo Di Caprio

and the character of Juliet was played by Clare Danes. This version

was made in 1996 and aimed at a much younger audience because it is

more up-to-date and appealing to the newer generation.

The opening scenes of a film are important because they introduce the

audience to the setting, main characters etc. They are also important

because they hook the audience into the film and make them want to

continue watching the film. However, if the opening scenes are

monotonous then the audience might not enjoy the film or not even want

to watch the rest of the film.

Zeffirelli's version starts off with a landscape in the background

with a narrator saying the prologue. The opening sequence of this film

introduces us to a couple of Capulets in a market. They see a Montague

and one of them bites his thumb at the Montague. Since this was

considered a very rude gesture in those times, it leads to a huge

fight that includes weapons and not just hands. The fight causes a lot

of chaos and a few people lose their lives or are seriously injured.

After that, a prince arrives and ends the fight by saying that any

person who gets involved in the next fight will be killed.

This opening scene in this traditional version is meant to make the

audience intrigued by the film. It is also supposed to make the
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