Romeo and Juliet is a classic love story written by William Shakespeare, in the Elizabethan era of English history. The work tells of the fatal attraction between Romeo and Juliet, how they met and why, their falling in love and their ultimate sacrifice for each other’s love, their actual lives. Fate has complete control, is a theme that is riddled throughout the text written by Shakespeare. It is essentially pointing out the view that everything we do or will, is at the mercy of fate, and whatever we do to counteract it, fate still holds the final judgement over our lives. This theme is also prevalent in cinematic codes written into both the visual representations of the Shakespearean love story by Franco Zefirelli and Baz Luhrmann. Two points, of which hold significant roles in expressing this theme, include the scene in which Romeo returns and meets Juliet, and the second being the most important is the scene in which they come together as death parts them. This essay will explore the theme stated earlier from the specific points listed above by tactics and techniques used by Shakespeare and the cinematic directors.
The scene which this essay finds significant importance to the theme of the story is that of when Romeo returns to the Capulet mansion and meets Juliet again. The explanation behind this being so important, is that there was no single guard protecting the Capulet mansion, allowing Romeo to return undetected and propose for marriage. Being that the Capulets are a wealthy family, they would have guards around the perimeter of their property to look after their assets. Because there where none at the time and location, this essay believes that Shakespeare used this to enhance the theme of fate having complete control over everything. The theme is expressed in narrative code by simply not having a guard as a character. By not displaying this, it points out to the viewer that there is no character for him. If Shakespeare was the write into Mercutio’s dialogue, a calmness and whisper to not attract attention, it would release a hint to the reader, or if being performed, audience member, that there was some sort of authoritive figure. If this character was present, there would have been a chance that Romeo could have being apprehended from reaching his future spouse, and not getting married, and then not been able to died for her. Another reason that this point in the play rite holds significant importance is the famed balcony scene, where Romeo actually proposes to his wife. In this scene fate is represented in narrative code by not having written the nurse to have witnessed Romeo’s return. Even though the play gives the impression that the nurse wouldn’t have told the senior Capulets, there does remain the possibility that she could have talked Juliet out of following Romeo’s wishes, because it would cause an already banned family feud. The nurse, having earned an un doubtful loyalty could have persuaded Juliet in favour of Paris, who she was earlier singing of his praises before the party. However in the written context, the nurse breaks them up before Romeo could’ve done something that Juliet may have found un desirable, because after all they professed their love on the basis of a few hours contact.
Fate has complete control is a theme that can be enhanced by the use of cinematography. Franco Zefirelli is a film director whom represented fatal love story in 1968. Because of the use of motion pictures, Zefirelli is able to enhance the flavours of the story by using filmic conventions and techniques such as audio, visual and symbolic code. As mentioned above Shakespeare neglected to add a guard to the play, however because of film, Zefirelli is able to, without affecting the storyline of the original text. Franco does this by having the guard as a “walk on” without any specific characterization. By using a visual technique such as this Zefirelli is able to toy with our minds, giving us the enhanced...
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