Luhrmann's Movie Version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

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Luhrmann's Movie Version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

All hopeless romantics get dreamy-eyed and sigh whenever the balcony scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet comes up in conversation. Juliet stands on her balcony, innocently murmuring about her meeting with Romeo while the very subject of her musings eagerly climbs the garden wall and trellis leading up to the object of his love, Juliet. Anyone viewing Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet will be sadly disappointed at first to see that the movie doesn't follow the traditional balcony scene. Instead the clandestine meeting and swearing of mutual love takes place in a swimming pool at the Capulet's mansion. For all that the setting differs, Romeo + Juliet does use traditional
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Water is associated with being in the womb, baptism, and an unknown world waiting to be discovered similar to outer space. For Romeo and Juliet the pool serves as a medium that distances them from the "real" world. In the water, their love for each other and anything else is possible. After Romeo declares his love for Juliet and she is satisfied that he loves her as she loves him, she goes to get out of the pool, leaving the realm of possibilities for the "real" world. Seeing that Juliet is getting away, Romeo quickly asks her "Wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?" Juliet stops and responds that there isn't anything else she can give Romeo except the vow of love she already gave without being asked. At Romeo's marriage proposal, she smiles, jumps into Romeo's arms and submerges them both in the pool effectively baptizing him as her true love and husband-to-be. As Donaldson points out "the ease with which the lovers find a place to meet [the pool] and kiss augured a more permanent mode in which their love could continue."

Water isn't the only symbolism Luhrmann uses. The most easily recognized symbolism in the movie is the costumes at the Capulet ball. Romeo arrives at the party looking dashing in his pseudo armor. He is the fairy tale knight, ready to "slay the dragon" and woo his lady love though he carries both a gun and a costume sword. Innocent Juliet is wearing a simple white modest floor length dress with wings and her hair neatly coiled
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