How Shakespeare’s Juliet can be recontextualised
The original play by Shakespeare and Zeffirelli and Luhrmann’s interpretation of the play are all different versions of the classical tragic story of Romeo and Juliet. When reading the play or seeing Zeffirelli and Luhrmann’s film we can observe various differences between them. Juliet, being one of the dominating characters of this story can be seen to be recontextualised differently through her personality, looks and role in society. Juliet’s personality and character is one of the most obvious and significant element that has been recontextualised. In Shakespeare’s play, Juliet is described to be more than just a pretty face; she’s smart, witty, determined and mature. She knows what she wants, and she gets it as it is Juliet who proposes to Romeo not the other way around. In the text, she is written to be thirteen years of age and begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo. Being a girl from a high social class family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city or climb over walls at midnight. However she shows amazing courage in trusting her life and future to Romeo, refusing to believe the worst reports about him and even willing to shut important people out of her life (nurse) the moment they turn against Romeo. "And when I shall die, take him and cut him up in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that the entire world will fall in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun." Juliet’s role in society is very minor and simple. She is the pretty, ‘prized’ daughter of the Capulets and is expected to be obedient of men in their families. In the novel, she receives little guidance and help from her family and is expected to marry Paris as her father decided. This gives a clear example of women’s role and its unimportance.
On the contrary, in Zeffirelli’s film we...
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