Romeo & Juliet Essay

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‘Appropriations are often a reflection of our time’. This can be seen with Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, a play which was written almost 400 years ago. Although modern appropriations have been made; with Franco Zeffirelli’s, Elizabethan version (1968), and Baz Luhrmann’s (1996) more contemporary version, the essence of the play, and why audiences appreciate it remain the same. In order to highlight this, comparisons between the ‘Ballroom’ and ‘Balcony’ scenes of each film can be made. Although the setting, costumes and props are very different, the underlying themes remain true to Shakespeare’s original text.

In Zeffirelli’s ballroom scene, it is set in the Capulet’s mansion. This party is a really formal party, as it is a masquerade party, where everyone can do what they want without people knowing who it is, and showing who they are. The costumes of each characters symbolises something different, for the Capulet’s their main colours is red, orange and yellow, as for the Montague’s they are dress in blue light colours, which symbolises fire and water, two different households which can’t get along well. What Juliet is wearing is a red and gold dress which symbolises her love and passion, as for Romeo his wearing blue clothes and a cat mask, which symbolises he is hunting for women and his prey is Juliet. The props in this version are more efficient for a normal house as they have curtains, masks, plants and stairs.

As for in Luhrmann’s ballroom scene it is more like our times, as we don’t have any more masquerade parties, but we do have costume parties. This too is set in the Capulet’s menschen. This is a costume party where everyone shows what they like and really are. The costumes of the characters too symbolises something. Juliet is wearing a white dress with angel wings, which consider herself as an angel, which symbolises her innocence and virginity. Romeo is wearing a knight armour, which symbolises that he is noble and it might as well...
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