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The Adaptation Of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet For A Cinema Audience

4263 words - 17 pages

The Adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for a Cinema Audience

There are many difference between showing a play in a theatre and
showing it on film. The theatre is more of a writers medium and more
emphasis is shown on language, you could say theatre acting is more
dramatic. Film actors don't need to be quite so dramatic as the point
the actor is trying to make can be conveyed in other ways on screen
(such as through use of varied backgrounds). Also on stage the scenes
need to be longer, this is to avoid changing the stage regularly. If a
film had long scenes set in one place only, the audience would
probably become quite restless and wonder what the point of such a
long scene would be. In film however, the production is definitely a
directors medium as he or she has total control over what parts of the
texts are necessary and what parts are not. The director can lead an
audience's attention in film by moving the camera to various angles
and from various viewpoints whereas on stage this is limited as the
only way in which to catch the audience's attention is by moving the
spotlight on to someone at a certain part of the stage but even so
they can still look around to other parts of the stage. In films their
is a different chronology of events and intercutting is often used.
This could be because a director feels that it's necessary to have the
audience see what's happening in the other character's lives at the
time something crucial is perhaps happening in another character's.
This almost creates an air of suspense as the audience want to go back
to the action but are being forced by camera to watch what is
happening at another place in time.

In 1968, Franco Zeffirelli produced a film of traditional
Shakespearian drama lasting about two and a quarter hours. Before
Romeo and his friends go to the Capulet party, Romeo speaks of his
love for Rosalyn and the pain that it causes him. He refers to Cupid a
lot and how fate has left him without someone to love him back. This
is quite ironic as we know he will soon meet Juliet. The first major
event in the text has really got to be Mercutio's Queen Mab speech. It
is shown in both film and text that Romeo is about to tell his friends
and Mercutio about a dream he had the previous night. At this,
Mercutio interrupts and undermines Romeo's seriousness with his own
humour. He starts off telling his tale slowly... building it up bit by
bit and as he continues to tell his story he exaggerates more and
more. Although Romeo is enjoying Mercutio's short performance, he is
also worried about his friend as it seems that he is getting himself
very worked up over nothing. In this film, the actor playing Mercutio,
broke the speech down, possibly because it did not all seem necessary.
Towards the end of his speech, Romeo is shown to...

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