Shakespeare vs. Zefferelli.

Essay by Orli_BabyJunior High, 8th gradeA, June 2003

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Shakespeare vs. Zefferelli

The works of Shakespeare are studied, analyzed, and enjoyed as some of the finest masterpieces of the English language. It is no wonder that countless directors attempt to interpret Shakespeare's ingenious works into movies. Directors such as Zefferelli, try to capture the essence of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet onto the screen. Though both versions relate in plot, Zefferelli's version contains the wedding scene, while the original play does not. Shakespeare's original Romeo and Juliet efficiently induces the audience with the story without the help of the wedding scene used in Zefferelli's version.

Without the wedding scene, Shakespeare's version of Romeo and Juliet sends the audience the image that the wedding was a secret and private. The absence of the wedding further denotes the world where tangible problems erase from Romeo and Juliet's minds. Within their own world, the two lovers do as they wish without the restrictions of the life that they live in.

In addition, secluding the wedding from the view of the audience is considered normal due to the controversy of the catholic religion. Shakespeare was aware that he needed money from his main customer, protestant Queen Elizabeth I. Money also came from the pockets of his audience, who might have also been protestant. Most importantly, adding the wedding scene is unnecessary. The beautiful language of Shakespeare's original masterpiece is enough to stimulate the audience's mind to imagine the scene themselves.

Zefferelli's choice to portray the wedding on film tricks the audience and portrays the wedding as a public event. In reality, the marriage of Romeo and Juliet was forbidden and kept a secret. Allowing the audience to view the ceremony destroys Shakespeare's purpose of revealing the secret wedding by not showing it. Including this union erases the...