A Comparison between the Film and Stage Production of Romeo and Juliet

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Which did you find most effective in conveying and portraying the theme of love in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet- The stage production or the film version?

Shakespeare used many different ways to portray love in his writing. In the Baz Luhramnn’s film version and Bell Shakespeare’s production of Romeo and Juliet we see various methods and techniques to show the different aspects of love. I found the Baz Luhrmann’s film version of Romeo and Juliet was more effective in portraying the theme of love in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet because I believe it showed the different aspects of love such as courtly love, passionate love-at-first-sight and family love better.

Courtly love was very common in Shakespeare’s time it involved love from afar, normally from a male to a female that was unavailable, typically from marriage or a higher place in society. It also includes being forced to marry someone simply for social benefit, not love. In both the film and the stage production courtly love is a prominent aspect. This is evident by the arranged marriage that Juliet had to go through with Paris. We see this shown through dialogue in the Baz Luhrmann film. As Juliet is told about her parent’s intensions of having her meet with Paris and if she likes him then they will plan a marriage for them, here we see through dialogue that Juliet accepts the news excitedly and with gratitude. But not only is she happy so are her parents as they want Juliet to marry Paris not only if she likes him but also because it would benefit them and boost their reputation in society because Paris is a noble man. In this scene Juliet quotes: “I'll look to like, if looking liking move But no more deep will I endart mine eye Than your consent gives strength to make it fly” Act one, Scene 3. Courtly love is also present by dialogue in Damien Ryan’s production because as we see in the beginning of the play Romeo is devastated over Rosaline. Through Romeo’s dialogue in his tone of voice we can...
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