How Does Baz Lurhmann Make Romeo and Juliet More Accessable to a Modern Audience

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How does Baz Lurhmann make ‘Romeo and Juliet’ accessible to a modern audience? William Shakespeare, an Elizabethan playwright, is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and is sometimes referred to as “The Bard of Avon”. His plays were written to entertain the working class audience of the time and it is in this spirit that Baz Lurhmann uses a wide range of theatrical techniques to make his work accessible to today’s audience. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is as tragedy in five acts which tells the story of the doomed love affair of two teenagers, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. Both are only children of two wealthy but feuding families in the sixteenth centaury Verona. They meet fall in love, marry, and die within the short space of three days. The young lovers are driven to their death by their feuding families who are, ironically left united in grief when their children die. Baz lurhmann retells Shakespeare’s tragic love story in a film production produced in 1996. It stars Leonard Di Capro as Romeo and Claire Darnes as Juliet. The producer attempts to make Shakespeare’s sixteenth century verse play accessible to a modern audience in several ways. In Shakespeare’s theatre the Prologue would have been spoken on a stage before the action of a play. Lurhmann starts the movie with the Proulogue masked as a new broadcast on tevevison. This sets the scence of the playin the 20th century by illustrating the violence between the two wealthy families, The Montagues and the Capulets. It also draws the viewer’s attention to the idea that feuding families are in the media spotlight. Baz Lurhmann repeats the Prologue three times this is to keep it present in your mind. He also shows the key phrases of the Prologue in quick flashes almost like subliminal messaging. Lurhmann illustrates the Prologue with a set of graphic visual images of riots, shots of Verona Beach and scene’s of street violence. Shakespeare’s plays set the scene in the Italian city of...
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