William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

In Romeo and Juliet, love is depicted in several ways. Both Luhrman and Shakespeare represent love in different ways in different contexts to both the Elizabethan era and the contemporary audience. Both the original and later manifestations of the text are valued because they both communicate to the audience on the values of love and society by employing a variety of devices.

The central subject dealt within Romeo and Juliet is the subject of love. William Shakespeare and Baz Luhrman thus represent love to their audience beyond the distinct ideas of love as simple sentiments. In the play, there are 2 basic levels – the real world of Verona and the private, intimate sphere of Romeo and
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This also reveals to the audience an empathy that the two “star-crossed” lovers were made fore each other. Luhrman achieves this via the use of smitten, longing looks, the close-up shots, and the music of Des’ree (Kissing You).

Through Scene 5, Romeo continues to show himself as a hopeless romantic besotted with beautiful girls. His language indicates that he thinks of love and commitment in terms of sight: “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”, as he says at his first glimpse of Juliet. This statement recalls Scene 2, in which he spoke of “ the devout religion of mine eye” and said that if his eyes were heretical enough o consider another girl more beautiful than his Rosaline, his tears would turn to fire and burn at stake. However, as soon as he lays his eyes on Juliet, his devotion to the apparently less beautiful Rosaline disappears – and a new religion is found for Romeo.

Shakespeare thus portrays Romeo and his love as an infatuation. This infatuation is evident in how instantaneously Romeo falls out of love with Rosaline and into love with Juliet. At one stage, Rosaline was the “precious treasure of his eyesight”, yet Romeo’s embodiment of perfection was, a few scenes later, his notion of defectiveness. This therefore reveals to the audience the instantaneous and reckless path of the two lovers, as well as the fickleness of adolescent “love”, diminishing at the sight of
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