Romeo and Juliet - Film and Text Analysis

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Romeo and Juliet - Film and Text Analysis

By | October 1999
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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 Juliet's love.

The fulfillment of Romeo and Juliet's love in the social life of Verona is hindered by external influences; the most obvious of which is the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. The "ancient grudge" is one of many conditions and incidents, which together can be, considered an influence counter-acting the relationship between Romeo and Juliet.

Despite the obvious obstacles of conflict and hate, the love of Romeo and Juliet is born and subsists. When Romeo meets Juliet for the first time during the Capulets' feast (I.v), the language and form of the dialogue shared by Romeo and Juliet shows that heir private sphere is totally different from public life.

Shakespeare thus presents their fist conversation via a sonnet, a poetic convention very popular in the Elizabethan age. A sonnet's expression of the lyrical "I" allows Shakespeare to break the limits of dramatic performance and to involve his audience emotionally as if they were recipients to a poem. This therefore means that Shakespeare represents Romeo and Juliet's love by making the audience of the two different levels – one where all forms of social order break down, and the other, where Romeo and Juliet are the centre of the universe.

Luhrman also...

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