Similarities & Differences in Multiple Versions of Romeo & Juliet

Essay by OreoBaby8188Junior High, 9th gradeA-, October 2003

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In 1597 a play titled Romeo & Juliet was published. The writer, William Shakespeare, Had not even an inkling that this play (and many of his other works) would have such and impact on writers all over the world. Romeo & Juliet has been interpreted many times and many ways. There are two popular movies that are both appropriately titled Romeo & Juliet. In 1968 and 1996 movies were created by directors Zefferelli (1968), and Baz Luhrmann (1996). Theses movies ,along with the original text version, portray the story of Romeo & Juliet very differently while still staying true to the main plot.

The Story of Romeo and Juliet is known worldwide, It has endured time and is understood throughout all ages. In each piece they use religious imagery to represent the strong and everlasting love between Romeo and Juliet. In each version of the story the characters, overall plot, language, and prologue typically stay the same.

Although they are very different in content they all acknowledge how important the prologue, first meeting, balcony scene, and death scenes are.

The Play Romeo & Juliet has a prologue that explains what is going to happen in the play. Basically giving away the story or telling the viewers what to expect. It is given by a chorus in the play, but in Zefferelli's 1968 version, the prologue is spoken by a male voice while the beginning credits scroll on the screen. The screen has a soft focus with a panoramic view of the Italian countryside. In the 1996 Baz Luhrmann version, The Prologue is given twice. Once as a newscast, and again with images from the movie flashing on the screen. This prologue is very fast paced, frantic, and again incorporates strong religious imagery. The Modern version of the prologue is most...