Romeo And Juliet: The Past And Present

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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Romeo and Juliet: The Past and Present Romeo and Juliet is, perhaps, one of the world's most famous love stories. Since this Shakespearean play first debuted in the infamous Globe Theatre, there have been numerous versions of the play performed, both on stage and onscreen. Franco Zeffirelli was the first ever to produce a more realistic form of the love story, with more action, humour, and sexiness in his 1968 version then has ever been shown in previous versions. The 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, produced by Baz Luhrmann, took on a much more modern-day approach to the story, unlike any other before it.

Franco Zeffirelli's version of Romeo and Juliet took place in the same time period as Shakespeare had intended it to be in. The women wore large and elegant dresses, the men wore tights and flimsy shirts, the people fought with swords and daggers, and they traveled by horse.

Also, Zeffirelli was the first to show Romeo and Juliet nude on their wedding night, which was a shock to the public.

Surprisingly, Baz Luhrmann did not display any nudity in his much more contemporary version of the story, although the other aspects of the movie were very modern. The characters had buzz cuts, pink hair, and tattoos, they carried guns instead of swords and daggars, and they travelled by car. Although this version of Romeo and Juliet takes place in modern times, the characters' dialogue was still Shakespeare's very words, which some found to be very awkward, with the modern-day background accompanied by the traditional speech.

Obviously, these two movies were written and produced by 2 very different people with very different aims, but, of course, they both got the same reactions out of the audience: sadness, grief, and heartbreak"¦"For never was there a...