A Comparison of Romeo and Juliet.

Essay by Maria y JoseA+, May 2003

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet interpreted by Zeffirelli are two versions of a classic tale of two young lovers. In reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and viewing Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet one becomes aware of many differences between them. Although the basic storyline remains the same, the differences are obvious. These differences can be found in the setting, characters and their speeches, and the culmination of the story. These differences between the versions produce two entirely different interpretations of the story. Zeffirelli changed the story by changing important scene by use of omitting characters or switching the order of the events. For example in Act V, when the Prince gave his final speech, Friar Laurence was supposed to be present to give his own confession, but was left out by Zeffirelli's version. This left the explanation of why the lover's were truly dead for the watchers to question.

Shakespeare had Montague raise a statue in Juliet's honor, signifying the end of their feud. Zeffirelli, on the other hand, chose only to show the two lords together making for a weaker end. The omission of characters from important scene was not the only change noted between the two. Zeffirelli also took poetic license in the creation of Romeo and Juliet. He gave his lines to characters when in Shakespeare they were spoken by another. This was shown during the party scene, Act I, scene V when Lord Capulet was to rebuke Tybalt and call him".......saucy boy........." The line was instead given to Lady Capulet. This exchange of lines between the characters does not always help in the understanding of the story. The use of adding lines to characters created different personalities and gave the characters greater insight than in Shakespeare's version. It added in helping understand...