Comparing Zeffirelli's The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet

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The essence of Romeo & Juliet. The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet is the classic play written by William Shakespeare that follows two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, who are mortal enemies that fall in love with each other. The protagonists try to keep their love hidden from their families, but not forgotten by themselves. This play of love and passion has been prototyped countless times on the silver screen, as it is the greatest love story ever told. The most well-known movie versions of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet are Franco Zeffirelli’s (1968) Romeo and Juliet, and Baz Luhrmann 's (1996) Romeo + Juliet. Both versions captured the main essence of the original play with Zefferelli 's staying true to its source while…show more content…
Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet captured the whole essence of Romeo & Juliet, but both versions included detailed parts that were portrayed both convincingly and truthfully. One detailed part that both versions portrayed convincingly and truthfully were the characters of the original play. In the original play of The tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, Tybalt, (Juliet 's cousin), is this violently aggressive jealous man with a hot-tempered attitude, which causes him to amuse certain events at the annoyance of his relatives. This can be seen at the feast, as Tybalt automatically amuses Romeo has come to dispute the party based on him being a Montague. “This, by his voice, should be a Montague...What! Dares the slave come hither covered with an antic face, To fleer and scorn at our solemnity? Now, by the stock and honor of my kin, To strike him dead I hold it not a sin,” (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 53-58 ). This scene shows that Tybalt will take any chance he has to kill a Montague, as long as it 's not a sin; thus also showing that he has such a strong sense of honor towards his family. Seeing how Tybalt is described in the original play, both directors made sure that Tybalt’s performance would be as similar to how he’s depicted in the play, to establish Tybalt as the main antagonist in their films. In Luhrmann 's Romeo + Juliet, Tybalt overreacts in an almost menacing vengeful way when he hears Romeo, as he begins to bang his chest and threaten him with death for the sake of his family. In…show more content…
In order to capture the complete essence of Romeo & Juliet, both movies must have first capture the essence of the original play 's prologue as it sets up the scene, tone, and mood. Without capturing the essence of the original prologue, then both movies can forget about capturing the complete essence of Romeo & Juliet, as its prologue is essential to it. Both Luhrmann and Zeffirelli knew how important the prologue was to the play, so they made sure to keep it as similar to the original prologue; despite this, there were still a few noticeable differences in both movies. In the original prologue of Romeo & Juliet, a chorus read the prologue in its entirety and states that they’ll clarify anything confusing to the audience. Instead of having a chorus read the prologue to its’ audience, Zeffirelli’s version had a man read the prologue. The man did not inform the audience that he’ll clarify anything confusing to them, neither did he read the complete prologue, as he only read half of it ending at “...death bury their parents strife.” Luhrmann’s version also has some noticeable differences in its prologue. As mentioned before, Luhrmann’s version of Romeo & Juliet took a more modern, updated look than Zefferelli 's. So with that in mind, Luhrmann’s version had a newscaster read the prologue as headline news, and she also wore a modern piece of clothing, (a blazer), instead of those centuries-old garments. Another difference was that she read the “news prologue” in a very
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