Romeo and Juliet: Interpretation of Play and Movie

2472 Words10 Pages
The environment surrounding the star-crossed lovers in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet can influence audiences who may interpret the scenes in different ways. The audience can be greatly affected in their interpretation of the story by the mise-en-scene, costuming, and the hidden symbolic meaning. This great piece of literature was edited in two unique and intriguing forms, one Zeferelli directed which was filmed in 1968, and the modern version produced in 1996. The different scenes throughout the length of the party were the most influential to me in that I saw how different these movies were directed, and the different meaning I experienced from watching these movies. Focusing on the environment of the scenes and the costuming helped me in my interpretation, because I found hidden symbolism from these two qualities. In the 1996 film version of Romeo and Juliet, the interior and exterior designing of the palace helped create certain symbolism. An exhilarating explosion of fireworks in the sky helped recapture an intense party scene. Beautiful colors were reflected throughout the scene. These different rays of colors were reflected in the faces of the actors and actresses. Music was also used to intensify this scene. The song "Young Hearts Run Free" was appropriate, because it produced an irony of how Romeo and Juliet would meet that night. The exterior of the Capulet's palace was intensified by red banners that hung down from the windows. White lights which strung along the palm trees showed an elegance. The interior designing of the house focused on an enormous staircase, and in the background the walls were painted red. The frames hung on the wall were outlined with gold trim, and there were two unusual gold statues by the staircase, that were half man and half fish. The director's choice of lighting and music helped to create an actual party scene with the liveliness it brought. The explosion of fireworks in the sky could have been interpreted as an explosion of lust that would occur later on between Romeo and Juliet. Also I found that the use of fireworks in the sky emphasized the stars, and Romeo and Juliet were star crossed lovers of their time. The coloring of reds and gold helped make the Capulet house outstanding and showed the audience royalty and richness. The statues that were on each side of the staircase representing half man and half fish were showing the controversy of how a man is torn from being masculine, to being put in the direction of femininity or romanticism.
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