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Baz Luhrman´S Version of Romeo and Juliet

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.5 
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One of the characteristics of Elizabethan and also Jacobean drama is the low number of stage directions and the lack of details they contain. As a logical consequence theatrical representations or film versions of these ages may allow an important quantity of freedom in the performance. In other instances stage directions and other important theatrical elements are consciously left aside in order to create totally different visions of the original idea. That is not the case of Baz Luhrman´s version of Romeo and Juliet filmed in 1996, which despite the numerous alterations of the original play still retains Shakespeare’s initial conception.

    On the question of setting, instead of the Verona of the sixteenth century in Italy, the action occurs in another Verona in the nineties, a coastal city dominated by two large skyscrapers belonging to the Montagues and the Capulets respectively, two adversary industrial powers.

The places appearing in the play are barely respected, however the Capulet´s mansion including its walls and garden appear both in the play and the film due to the fact that the events taking place there are crucial because it is the place in which Romeo and Juliet´s first meet and develop their love affair. Apart from this, they are forbidden for Romeo, so any other location would have reduced the tension of his intrusions. In addition to this, in the film the streets of Verona are repeatedly replaced by the beach, and so the friar Lawrence´s cell by his chapel. It is usual to find that whereas in a single scene of the play the events occur in a single space location, in the film it is possible to see more than one, as in the case of the first scene of the play in which a street of Verona is replaced by a road, a gas station, a police station and the beach. From all this it follows that these types of alterations produced in the setting are intended to give the story an faster pace and variety to avoid any sign of statism that is...


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