Romeo and Juliet Themes

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Practice Essay Question
Due: Monday the 5th of November

What are the most important themes in Romeo and Juliet? Compare and contrast how these themes are represented in Shakespeare’s play and Lurhrman’s film adaptation. In your answer:
* Discuss 2 key themes
* Consider which key characters embody these themes
* Make detailed reference to at least 2 key scenes per theme * Highlight similarities AND differences between the film and the play * Discuss language, film and dramatic techniques

Act 1, scene 1 – THEME: LOVE (compare Shakespeare and Luhrmann) Act 2, Scene 2 – THEME: LOVE (compare Shakespeare and Luhrmann) Act 1, Scene 1 – THEME: HATE (compare Shakespeare and Luhrmann) Act 3, Scene 1 – THEME: HATE (compare Shakespeare and Luhrmann)


The prologue of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet immediately identifies the story of the title characters as “star cross’d lovers”, which foreshadows to the audience an insight into the key themes of the story, being love and fate. Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation (1996) makes the Elizabethan text accessible for a modern audience by focusing on the same key themes. Shakespeare’s use of dramatic techniques and luhrmann’s use of film devices represent the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet in an effective way.

The two contradicting key themes that are universal and significant to both the original play Romeo and Juliet composed by William Shakespeare and the modern execution in style of a movie directed by Baz Luhrmann are the themes of love and hate. These two themes can be drawn into relation with the characters of Romeo and Tybalt who effectively represent these themes through various language, film and dramatic techniques implemented by both composers.

The character of Romeo, who is infatuated by love throughout the entirety of the play, experiencing the turbulence of love, undoubtedly dominates this theme that is...