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Aarond Essay

880 words - 4 pages

Romeo and Juliet: A comparison between the new and the old! By: Aaron Dickman The 1996 Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet is unusual because it takes place in modern times. This creates an interesting setting for a play written in the 15th century. Luhrmann manages to create a movie that is remarkably faithful to the play's vision and sense of tragedy without drastically changing the play.The characters of Romeo and Juliet are a colorful group. Their changes in the movie are subtle, but noticeable. The Nurse in the play is a blabbermouth, makes dirty jokes, and is more of a mother to Juliet than Lady Capulet. In the movie, she is more to the point, doesn't talk as much, and isn't as close to Juliet. She is really more of a servant than a close friend. Lady Capulet in the play is a young wife with a nasty temper that shows when she demands Romeo's death. She also has a cold demeanor and virtually shuns Juliet until her death. In the movie, she's a horrible flirt with Paris and has a more than platonic relationship with Tybalt. She is warm compared to the play's Lady Capulet and seems to be more of a victim of domestic violence than in the play. This is apparent when Lord Capulet enters Juliet's room to ask her wife about Juliet's reaction to her arranged marriage. She closes her eyes like she fears his presence. The main characters hardly change though. Mercutio is still the satirist, dueling with words. The biggest change is that Mercutio is on acid in 1.4-1.5. This explains his craziness during his Queen Mab speech and in 1.5, where he is dancing unusually. Juliet also remains the same. She still matures from "a stranger to the world." (1.2) to an independent, mature woman who defies her parent's wishes to marry Paris. The characters are still, for the most part, faithful to the play.Themes have a strong role in Romeo and Juliet. Most notable are the themes of love and fate. The play develops the theme of love through contrast. On one hand, there is Romeo's infatuation with Rosaline and the arranged marriage of Paris and Juliet. On the other is the "pure" or true love of Romeo and Juliet. The play shows this primarily through their actions and their romantic speeches to one another. The movie develops the theme of love the same way, but with the additional twist of incest (Tybalt and Lady Capulet) and homosexuality (Mercutio). The theme of fate almost disappears, however. The play shows many...

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