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Romeo and Juliet – Play vs. Movie Essay

Films are made with the directors different personal opinions based on the original source. In the movie version of Romeo and Juliet (1996, Leonardo DiCaprio), the above illustrates this perfectly. For this essay, I will discuss some of the contrasts between the original play, and the film. I hope you find this essay informative.

First, I will discuss some of the plot changes that were implemented to adapt to a modern day movie’s visual capabilities. If we were to read just the play, the only pictures we would see would have to be imagined. Since we now have the ability to see a movie, the director had to change some of the story to help us visualize some of the scenes. One such example is when, in the play, Tybalt recognizes Romeo’s voice at the Capulet masked ball. When Tybalt hears him, he becomes enraged.

In the film this is different, Romeo takes off his mask at the fountain, and forgets it there. As Romeo is following Juliet, Tybalt sees him; however, the results are the same. Tybalt becomes angered, and vows to get revenge on Romeo. Another example of a change in plot is when Romeo visits the apothecary. Romeo, in the movie, sees the apothecary in Verona, where as Romeo sees him in Mantua, in the play. Finally when Romeo and Juliet kill themselves, the Friar does not see them first, and the Prince does not say that Mercutio and Paris were his kinsmen.

Next, I will show you a change in the timing of the story. An example of a change in the timing is (during the play) when Romeo first meets Juliet. Romeo says some romancing words, then kisses Juliet. While she is being kissed, the Nurse calls

her away because her mother wishes to see her. In the movie, Juliet is called away to dance with Paris, even before Romeo talks to her. When the dance ends and Paris is watching the fireworks, Romeo talks to Juliet, then kisses her.

Finally, I will show one of the plot changes in the different relationships between the characters. An example is the love that Lady Capulet had for Tybalt. In the play, they only show that Lady Capulet cared for him (in the scene when he dies). But in the movie, during the ball, Lady Capulet and Tybalt passionately kiss. This is yet another variance between the play to the movie.

In conclusion, we can see that the movie was changed a minimal amount, and all of the changes were for thematic purposes only.

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