Gender In Romeo, Juliet And William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

Decent Essays

Compare and contrast the presentation of gender in two films we have looked at on the course
The concept of gender is evolutionary and difficult to define, though it can be argued that traditionally females have been predominantly defined by their desirability, and males by their masculinity. The way a director presents gender in film can either inspire social change and conversation, or alternatively it can further reproduce social norms. In the case of the film’s discussed in this essay, it is clear that Baz Luhrmann captivates a younger audience and intentionally uses actor selection and the presentation of gender to transform a well-worn Shakespearean story into something new and evolved to inspire a younger audience. On the other …show more content…

People such as Kate Moss, Winona Ryder, and Milla Jovovich held the desire of the public, while male stars such as Jared Leto, Leonardo Di Caprio and Justin Timberlake infatuated the public without the normative display of masculinity (Milestone & Meyer, 2012). With the context of the contemporary popular culture in mind, it becomes obvious that the two films were targeted at a completely different audience. Luhrmann embraced contemporary views of gender and presented this view in his film, while Zeffirelli adhered to a much more traditional presentation of the masculine and feminine elements of his characters, including the selection of actors to tell the story.
The choice of actors and actresses further contributes to the presentation of gender in both films. As with any artist, their individual performances go on to contribute to an overall body of work that informs the public’s perception of that artist, leading to stars commonly being classified by their typical presentation, for example ‘bad boys’, ‘sweethearts’, and ‘heart throbs’. Zeffirelli selected two epic stars of the time to represent two key characters; Glenn Close as Gertrude and Mel Gibson as Hamlet. Both selections could not have been more apt or brilliant at laying the foundation for deep and memorable characters. In Gertrude, the audience is presented with a woman clearly conforming to a traditional

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