Romeo and Juliet Comparative

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Romeo and Juliet Text Analysis Written by Shakespeare in the fifteen hundreds, Romeo and Juliet has become known as one of the most romantic, but also tragic love story’s throughout history. The play has been recaptured onto film many times, however two of the most well-known and popular versions are: the classic ‘Romeo and Juliet’ which was directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968, and also the modernized ‘Romeo + Juliet’ that was released in 1996 by Baz Luhrmann. Both these versions share the same playwright, characters and heartbreaking romance, but when looked at closely, how many similarities and differences do they share? Zefirelli’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was set in the thirteenth century Verona where social hierarchies determined exactly who you would grow up to be, and carts and horses were the only form of transport besides your own legs. This way of life was not similar to Luhrmann’s, ‘Romeo + Juliet’ appeared in Verona Beach, a trendy seaside area littered with street violence and gang related crime. Hierarchies were still very much a big part of the movie, although instead of in noble men and women, it was more focused on how higher up and important the gang member. Zeffirelli chose two very young actors: Leonard Whiting to play Romeo Montague, and Olivia Hussey for the role of Juliet Capulet. Luhrmann casted Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo, and Clare Danes as Juliet. The first similarity I noticed is that both films share the same complex Shakespearean language, which was definitely not what I expected of the modern day 1996 ‘Romeo + Juliet’. I believe that the language used felt more authentic in Zeffirelli’s due to the Renaissance theme and setting, but with Luhrmann’s it felt quite weak and mismatched when accompanied with the loud and violent beachside lifestyle of ‘Verona Beach’. The beginning of each film is another large indicator as to
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