Tybalt In Shakespeare's Original Text and Baz Luhrmann's Adaptation

Essay by ellienor November 2014

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When comparing Tybalt's character in Shakespeare's original play of 'Romeo and Juliet' with Baz Luhrmann's adaptation, it is important to look at the setting in which the character lived. A main difference between the way that the play and the film deal with location is that Shakespeare created his play to be performed in the 16th century theatre and was written to be heard as an auditory experience. Luhrmann's film, on the other hand, was created in 1996 and is primarily and image-intensive medium that can visually show the audience the locale. Shakespeare's audience referred to 'going to hear a play', rather than to see it; emphasising that Elizabethan theatre was an aural rather than visual experience as Shakespeare didn't have the technology and special effects at his disposal like Luhrmann did in 1996. In contrast, Luhrmann wanted to "show the words with what you see" and by doing so created 'Verona Beach' - a created world powered by the media where ferocity, destruction and aggression is rife; it is a volatile world dominated by guns where it is arduous to avoid violence.

The urban setting of Verona Beach captures the imagination of the modern day audience, and the gang tension between the Capulets and Montagues gives viewers something more up to date to relate to and grasp on to. Similarly, Shakespeare set his play in Verona Italy which is also a city where law and order has broken down. In Elizabethan times, it would have been seen as a place of passion where gangs of young men fought on the streets as upholding family honour was very important. It was a world of corruption and deviousness because of its Catholicism where arguments could only be resolved by duels. In Shakespeare's text, Tybalt's character seems to...