Baz Lurhman's Romeo and Juliet- Use of costuming

Essay by julz69 October 2004

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The costuming throughout the movie has been altered into modern clothing. The costuming worn at the Capulet's party symbolizes the position of the wearer in many different ways. Juliet and Romeo are often seen in white. Romeo appears in mostly blue tones or pale silvers while Juliet's signature is pure white. Simple tones would emphasize that they are, in a way, like specters, the ones whose hold on life is the most tenuous. The white colour represents their beautiful, youthful and pure nature and creates a strong contrast with the people around them. In this scene, Romeo is dressed as a knight and Juliet as an angel. This visualizes what Shakespeare is implying - that Romeo sees himself as a knight in shining armour, and that for now, Juliet is his pedestal for perfection, it also shows the irony of Shakespeare's implications by elaborating it into images, supplemented by costumes, lighting and music.

Juliet's white angel costume illustrates the concept of Juliet being so beautiful and pure that she is just like an angel and the colour white symbolises that she is very innocent and naïve. Romeo's knight costume displays his youthful character, searching for his love.

Paris is an astronaut to show that his perfect nature and how he is "a man of wax" and is so perfect that he seems out of this world and also connects him metonymically to the heavenly Juliet.

Tybalt is dressed in a devil outfit with devil horns accompanied by his two "cronies" dressed as white-faced skeletons acts as a "foreshadowing for his violent end. It also tells the audience that they are the evil villains in this movie.

Capulet is dressed in a purple toga, symbolising a royal roman emperor who is very powerful and can do whatever he likes. Lady Capulet...