Romeo and Juliet Comparative Essay

Romeo and Juliet Comparative Essay

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Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragic love story about two young lovers who are forced to be estranged as a result of their feuding families. The play is about their struggle to contravene fate and create a future together. As such, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood would try and emulate Shakespeare’s masterpiece. This had been done before in many films. Prominent among them were, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 “Romeo and Juliet” and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.” Both films stay true to the themes of Shakespeare’s original play. However, the modernised Luhrmann film not only maintains the essence of Shakespeare’s writings, Luhrmann makes it relevant to a teenage audience. This is done through the renewal of props and costumes, the reconstruction of the prologue and the upgrading of the setting, whilst preserving the original Shakespearean language. Out of the two, it is Luhrmann who targets Romeo & Juliet to a younger audience to a much larger extent than Zeffirelli.

Luhrmann modernised Romeo and Juliet through regular amendments of the props and costumes. In updating these aspects of the film, Luhrmann makes the play more relevant to our everyday modern environment. The actors in Luhrmann’s version carry guns instead of swords. Luhrmann, in an act of ingenious brand the guns with titles such as “Sword,” thus, enabling the original Shakespearean language to be preserved. Costumes differ dramatically between both versions of the film. In Luhrmann’s depiction of the motion picture, the Montagues have buzz cuts and pink hair whereas, the Capulets’ dress in vests and mainly dark clothes. All of these adjustments to the original play contribute to the popularity of the fil...


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...nge that transforms to create a different, more effective scene is the eminent balcony scene. In Luhrmann’s rendition of the movie, the balcony is intensified with the addition of a pool. This makes the scene more interesting than the tradition portrayal of the balcony scene as it is more innovative.
Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet is a film that converts Shakespeare’s famous play into a present-day setting. The film transforms the original texts into modern notions, whilst still employing Shakespearean language. Compared to Franco Zeffirelli’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Luhrmann’s picture is easier for a teenage audience to understand and relate to because of his modernisations. Despite the passing of four centuries Shakespeare’s themes of love, hate, violence, family and mortality remain the same regardless of the setting.


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Romeo and Juliet Comparative Essay

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