William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. a drama adapted extensively into movies. musicals. and operas. itself borrowed from an Italian narrative ; The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke. 1562 and Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Romeo and Juliet became one of Shakespeare’s most well-known calamities. Baz Luhrman’s 1996 characteristic movie Romeo + Juliet took on the challenge of accommodating Shakespeare’s drama into movie. While retaining the original book. Luhrman changed about everything else ; the music mark. the scene. the ocular manner. costumes and the text type.

As a consequence. he created an piquant manner of amusement for a immature modern audience. In his appropriation of the original sixteenth century drama. Luhrman explores and honours the play’s major subjects ; love. force. destine versus free will and gender inequality. The biggest hazard Luhrman took in accommodating Romeo and Juliet to the screen was the usage of Shakespearean duologue in a modern Latino scene. It was a bold move. by which Luhrman divided audiences into those who either commended it and those who despised it.

However it was recognised that Luhrman had succeeded in keeping the unity of the characters and plotline. making a modern chef-d’oeuvre. The reading of the subjects in both texts is true to the context of the clip in which they are set. Apparent in the original text of the late sixteenth century are the patriarchal values held by society. the new religious and spiritual beliefs emerging through Renaissance humanitarianism. values in respects to marriage and gender functions and the strong spiritual presence in the Italian small town of Verona.

These contextual factors are carried through to the modern version to a certain extent. but are adjusted to suit modern audiences. The movie version is set in Verona Beach Miami: a metropolis with both Hispanic and American influence. The music mark borrows from Radiohead. The Cardigans and Dess’ree. Luhrman besides transformed blades into guns. mendicants into male parents. the prologue into a intelligence flash and princes into constabulary captains. Both the drama and the film’s dominant subject. love. is portrayed as progressive ; it is an overmastering force that supersedes all the other factors in the lives of Romeo and Juliet.

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Sprung from separate feuding households. the “star cross’d” lovers defy the desires and outlooks of their households to prosecute their dream of being together. Love in both texts is merely every bit frequently a force of immorality. as one of good. It is the love that Romeo and Juliet portion that forces them to irrational force and both characters considered suicide on multiple occasions. Romeo says “If I profane with my unworthiest hand…this Holy shrine. the soft wickedness is this” . while Juliet says. “My grave is like to be my marrying bed” to get away from problems caused by their all-consuming love.

Romeo’s love makes him an emotional wreck and pushes him to slaying both Tybalt and Paris. In the drama. these thoughts of love are represented in many of Romeo’s lines. The connection between love and force is referenced in Romeo’s line “O brawling love. o loving hatred! ” and the internal bad lucks are felt when one is in love expressed by Romeo depicting love as “a lunacy most discreet. a choking saddle sore. and a preserving Sweet. ” Because love is a timeless and cosmopolitan subject it can be adapted for a modern audience. peculiarly through movie.

Frequently when love is the focal point in the movie. there is a presence of H2O. For illustration. when Romeo meets Juliet they look at each other through a bluish fish armored combat vehicle. and when they meet once more in the balcony scene a H2O characteristic reflects watery visible radiation. and subsequently. they fall into a swimming pool and embracing. The H2O and the presence of the coloring material blue in the love scenes conveying an component of unagitated and peace. The 360 grade shooting of the lovers in the lift scene shows that to each other. Romeo and Juliet are all consuming.

While it is a profoundly traveling and attractively filmed scene. it allows the audience clip to besides chew over the unreason of the relationship between the two immature lovers. particularly in a modern context. In other parts of the movie. these scenes are juxtaposed with force where preponderantly ruddy and orangish sets are used for illustration when Mercutio gets shot. As a subject in both texts. force frequently takes the signifier of retribution and plays a large function in the action and play of the drama and the movie.

In the original text. the conflicts were largely swordfights. which at the clip were about as much participated in for athletics as for settling wrangles. Happenings of force in Romeo and Juliet are about ever as a consequence of passion of some kind. In many instances. the passion doing the force is love. and the line specifying love as pure and good is blurred. Angry retribution thrusts many others to violence. and through these ardent tantrums of passion the characters are frequently disillusioned to the impacts their violent Acts of the Apostless will hold until after they have performed them.

In the drama force is frequently justified as being necessary to protect masculine honor and the honor of the household. and is besides claimed to be in the name of retaliation. taking to a long concatenation of violent Acts of the Apostless that perpetuate the household feud between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s. This protection of masculine honor appears in Baz Luhrman’s version. and the feuding households remain. tied up in modern pack warfare tinged with racial struggle.

The facet of the Hispanic versus Anglo racial struggle makes the drama apprehensible to a modern movie audience. and the pack force keeps the importance of masculine honor touchable and credible. In the movie. the swordfights are transformed into dramatic gun conflicts. and it is apparent in the gas station fight scene that the force has been choreographed. typically seen in Hollywood movies. The velocity of the film’s action is altered at times to make dramatic consequence and imagination of fire accents choler and force.

Religious imagination is besides used in highly violent scenes. for illustration the rood on the butt of Tybalt’s gun as he stares down the Montagues in the gas station scene. While the spiritual symbols on the violent arms are direct ocular analogues to the subject of faith in the drama. it besides elucidates the propinquity of immorality and good in modern America. Don McAlpine’s filming includes lingering close-ups of cardinal characters and rich spiritual symbols. In his muscular attack to storytelling. Luhrman borrows from other maestro movie shapers like Scorsese. Tarantino and Lynch.

Gender functions at the clip of the drama were really conventional. Elizabethan society was undisputedly a patriarchal society. The function of adult females was limited to domestic attention. Most misss were married in their early teens and had small or no pick in hubbies. These restraints caused jobs for Juliet in her love of Romeo. From her parent’s point of position. her love was non hers to give. and it was expected that an appropriate suer would be selected by her parents ( chiefly her male parent ) and accepted by his girl without ailment.

Therefore Juliet’s male parent was highly angry at Juliet’s refusal to get married Paris ; by declining to get married Paris she was arising against the outlooks of her as a girl and member of the Capulet household. It can be seen in the modern movie version. every bit good as in the original text. that the adult females in the drama. notably Juliet. pass their clip inside their houses or churches. whereas the male childs spend a batch of their clip out on the streets.

It would be easy for this pattern to come across as foreigner and unfamiliar to a modern movie audience. but the big sums of danger and pack force on the streets of modern-day Verona Beach service as an account as to why immature misss like Juliet are kept inside for protection. Fate versus freewill as a subject in Shakepeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes its roots in the emerging belief in theories of Renaissance humanitarianism. At the clip the original drama was written. people were get downing to believe that although they were created by God. it was they themselves who had the power to alter future events in their lives.

Peoples by and large became less rigorous about spiritual affairs. but it was still believed that without a spiritual base and the right restraint on freedom. black effects would ensue. This struggle between destiny and freewill is paralleled in a young person versus age struggle. Romeo represents roseola. fast-thinking young person. enthralled in the chase of love and felicity. and Friar Lawrence is the equilibrating figure of spiritual esthesia. wisdom and restraint. The heavy spiritual influence in the original text is carried through to the modern appropriation through the scene.

Bing set in a Latino society. the Catholic influence is still apprehensible and the superstitious notions upheld in the drama are non excessively far from world for a modern audience to accept. In the drama. Romeo’s speedy pique and fast determination doing frequently lead to unexpected and unstable fortunes. and Friar Lawrence advises “Those lurch who run fast. ” Though the character of Friar Lawrence in the movie remains a wise spiritual priest. his character is changed in ways to do it more familiar to the modern-day audience.

For illustration his mundane garb is insouciant. which is a mention to the movie being set in a station Vatican II epoch. Because Baz Luhrman’s version had to conform to movie conventions. subdivisions of the drama have been removed. condensed or taken out wholly to accommodate the alteration in text type. The original secret plan included Romeo slaying Paris. This has been removed in the movie because Paris is a sympathetic character. and holding him killed for no obvious ground. would non hold fitted with Hollywood movie.

Luhrman wanted the audiences to be able to sympathize with Romeo and hence had to except the slaying of Paris. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is one of the English language’s most abiding texts. Baz Luhrman’s modern appropriation of this authoritative calamity is a chef-d’oeuvre in its ain right. He successfully re-contextualised the Shakespearean drama to entertain and prosecute new audiences around the universe. while still pull offing to continue the unity of the original narrative ( by keeping cardinal subjects every bit good as linguistic communication ) .


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