Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet"
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William Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet," set in 16th century Verona, Italy shares differences with Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet," set in modern day Verona Beach. These stories contain the same characters and conflict, however major and minor discrepancies are galore in the story lines of both formats of William Shakespeare's creation. Some major inconsistencies occur, such as Mercutio dying at a beach, portrayed as a hero, instead of being at a bar, looking like a fool, Friar Lawrence's letter is successfully sent to Romeo by mail carriers, however he does not have the opportunity to read it, unlike in the play version, where Romeo does not get the letter from Friar John, and is told the news by Balthazar, and nobody…show more content…
Mercutio steps in to protect his friend, Romeo, from the dangers of the villainous Tybalt Capulet. Unfortunately, Mercutio dies in both versions of Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet," never making it to the end of the story lines. However, Mercutio dies portrayed as a hero in Luhrmann's portrayal of "Romeo and Juliet," by attempting to save Romeo from Tybalt, unlike in the play, where he is seen as the joker he has always been. Mercutio's portrayal as a hero probably occurred because of Luhrmann's dislike of the way Mercutio died in the play. Nonetheless, Mercutio still suffered the same fate that occurred to him in both versions. In addition to the alterations in Mercutio's death, the letter from Friar Lawrence successfully makes it to Romeo in the movie's portrayal of Mantua, however, he never has the chance to read it. This is different from Shakespeare's play version since Friar John is supposed to give Romeo Friar Lawrence's letter, unlike in the movie, where a mail service is attempting to deliver the letter. In Shakespeare's original version, Friar John is held back at a plague quarantine as stated in ACT V, scene ii, "Suspecting that we both were in a house where the infectious pestilence did reign, sealed up the doors and would not let us forth..." (V.ii.9-11), and was not allowed to leave the house where he was held back at to deliver the important message. In the movie, however, Romeo does get the letter from Friar Lawrence, but
Show MoreHow has Baz Luhrmann made Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo & Juliet’ accessible to a modern audience? Baz Luhrmann has made a cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s play “Romeo & Juliet” to make the original play easily understandable for modern audiences. He has made it more accessible by incorporating familiar locations and scenes, references to other works, genre’s and styles, marketing it to a teenage audience, the use of clever sound techniques, characterisation, and through the use of clever camerawork and editing techniques. Through these techniques and devices, as well as making the film visually appealing, Baz Luhrmann has made the original play “Romeo & Juliet” much more accessible for modern audiences. Familiar locations are…show more content…
Characterisation is very important for both the original play and film version. Female characterisations are evident in the film. There is: Juliet’s mother who is seen as the ‘trophy wife’ and acts as if she is a dog to Capulet (answering to him whenever he calls etc) the nurse is the ‘adviser’ always giving advice on love when she herself has probably never fallen in love before, the prostitute on the beach is the one that couldn’t care less about true love, and Juliet who believes in true love and not arranged marriages. Luhrmann has incorporated the several different women on love and effectively shown how women of our society are very similar to them. These characterisations make it easy for modern people to relate to, and understand the true nature of each character and therefore make the film more accessible to modern audiences. Because it is a film, the editing and camerawork Luhrmann has used, that was not available during Shakespeare’s time, adds a modern flair to “Romeo and Juliet”. Lighting, camera angles and camera movement all determine what the audience should feel in an event. In the elevator, Romeo and Juliet were surrounded by bright lights and the camera circled around them, forcing the audience to have a romantic feeling towards the event. When Mercutio died, the unmoved camera (as opposed to the handheld-shakiness of previous events) and