William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

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William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Although the story of Romeo and Juliet is over 500 years old, it is as relevant and appealing today as it was when first performed.

Although dated, the story of Romeo and Juliet still holds great appeal and relevance to today’s society, despite the differences in morals and values between William Shakespeare’s audience 500 years ago, and Baz Luhrmann’s audience today. The arising issues of order and authority, fate and love entertain/ed and appeals/ed to both viewers in different ways.

Shakespeare’s original play, Romeo and Juliet reflected the important Elizabethan concerns in relation to authority, law and order, making it relevant to the audiences’ morals and values of the time, as well
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The general perspective of society is represented throughout the film by panoramic shots of the city of Verona, involving violent, hectic scenes such as police raids, gun fights, speeding cars and other generally violent actions. The scenes are quick and vivid; the sequencing constantly changing and moving quickly. The violence seen is similar to the play in that it is a vital role in the morals of the plot.

The panoramic shots of the city also reveal the giant religious statue of Jesus, in the centre of the city. The statue of Jesus is first seen in the opening scene, which introduces the two family households and major business owners, Montague and Capulet: the background is a panoramic shot of two large skyscrapers separated by the statue, with the foreground of two photographs of Old Montague and Old Capulet, also separated by the statue. This paves the way for continuous religious references during the film.
The large skyscrapers representing Montague and Capulet businesses are symbols of wealth and power. The audience is introduced to the hatred between the two families and the statue is seen as a barrier protecting from violence and hatred.

The violence is then continued when the film introduces the Montague and Capulet boys in the ‘garage’ scene. Luhrmann uses the audiences’ assumed knowledge of society to create moods about the characters. He uses preset genres created and assumed with
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