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The parts of life which we enjoy with a great sense of emotion, conviction, and willingness, the parts of life which we claim to be of the most beautiful, all these wonders, a mere matter of opinion. For when we come across a source where we find great enlightenment, and an intense connection or agreement with its displays we all take from it a slightly different version. Since the birth of Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, many have been moved by its themes and greatness in depth, and hence have decided to put forth to new audiences their own portrayal of the sublime play. Amongst those who have been inspired by the tragedy are Franco Zeffirelli, director of the 1968 film version, and Baz Luhrman, director of the 1996 film version. It is most evident that although each piece is based on the original scripted play they are presented in extremely different ways, highlighting the similarities and differences between themselves and Shakespeare’s actual work.
When putting together a film version that is based on an original piece similarities are definitely necessary. The base of the story or the central theme (the expensive cost of the differences between the Capulets and Montagues) along with most of the same characters, and the style of dialogue are some of the few similarities that the 1968 and 1996 film version share. The new productions are relevant and therefore better than any other work which only contains weak fragments of the original play because it is always best that the main substances be alike. The story telling would be of no good use without the same strong base which includes the family feud and the expression through Elizabethan language. Another similarity between the two film versions are the numerous events that take place. In both film versions Romeo is in love with Rosaline at first and Juliet is to marry Paris. They also meet at the Capulet party and kiss. The film versions also include the events in which Friar Laurence agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet, and when Romeo gets banished from Verona. These important scenes make do for a great sense of eagerness to learn more about the upcoming events and for a truly interesting plot. The final similarity between the two newer versions is the act where both Romeo and Juliet purposely take their own lives when under the impression that they were dead.
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Greatness lays in originality and uniqueness. One of the differences between the two film versions is character motive and personality in a couple of actors. In the 1968 film version the Nurse showed loving affection for Juliet by caressing her hair or hugging her, but in the 1996 film version the Nurse is often screaming and she doesn’t give her extended speech about how she literally nursed Juliet. Another angry character in the 1996 and not in the 1968 film version is Lord Capulet. He hit Tybalt at his party and hit Juliet when she refused to marry Paris. In the 1996 film the actress who plays Juliet is also much older and she doesn’t care to speak of her fears before taking the potion that will make her appear to be dead. The greater action build up and character background makes the 1968 film version all the more comprehendible and interesting. The depth behind every thought and action of the 1968 film version also made it stand out in a positive way. Another difference was the addition of events in the 1996 version. In this film Romeo takes a pill before the part, a necklace falls in the balcony scene, Juliet gives a ring to Romeo when he is banished, and many are in search of Romeo when he leaves Mantua. These events are unfaithful to the true story and make way for great confusion. In addition to being false, they are also disappointing in relation to the high standards of Shakespeare’s true imagination and art. The last difference between the two adaptations is when Juliet actually awakes as Romeo is killing himself and Romeo is aware of her being. Baz Luhrman did his take on the best tragic tale of all time and there is no common ground in levels of success. Franco Zeffirelli truly captivated the essence of Shakespeare’s story and originality in a way in which Luhrman’s creation can’t even compare. The difference in how both directors went about their versions in context and scenery makes the better one of the two quite radiant.
There are numerous similarities and differences between both film versions and the scripted play itself, and they are very difficult to dismiss. A similarity they all share is the fact that interfering family members make Romeo and Juliet’s love difficult to obtain. Tybalt strongly disliked Romeo and Lord and Lady Capulet wanted Juliet to show interest and willingness to marry Paris. These events make way for the exact same purpose and excitement of the play. The desires of each character result in magnificent similarity to the immediate story. One of the differences between the movies and the play is the limitation of dialogue for sake of time. The films took out the lines where Romeo speaks about his strong love for Rosaline, where the Nurse speaks of her care for Juliet, and where Juliet talks about her fears concerning the deception of her supposed death. The assumptions and shallow explanation of characters and their emotions are what cause weakened versions that try to come close to the initial version. No matter how advanced or fantastic the new creations become they will never be as extraordinary as the original story. The final similarity that they all share is that in all works Romeo and Juliet quickly act on their newly discovered emotions for each other, kissing, exchanging loving words, and planning to marry. These events show growth of character because at first Romeo was simply infatuated with Rosaline and Juliet’s beauty, but he later matures and acts on what truly seems to be love by taking his own life. Their effort to have their love work despite the awful family hate and behavior also portrayed determination, strong emotion, truth of emotion, and state of mind. Each piece was done with a different vision in mind and this definitely crossed over to each final product.
A sharing of some of the same qualities can make do for a comforting enjoyment, but diversity also gives way for disagreement and passion which can also be wonderful. Every vision of life that we believe to be great is worth expressing and sharing with others. The gift of imagination and recreation is no exception. Disagreement and agreement upon the arts results in similarities and differences, all very needed and instinctual in the nature of humans and their inventions.