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In this piece of coursework I will be comparing and contrasting Act I Scene I of the text of Romeo and Juliet and also the same scene in the Baz Luhrmann. William Shakespeare wrote the play was written between 1594 and 1596, was called Romeo and Juliet, this would be Shakespeare’s first play that ended in tragedy. The story of Romeo and Juliet was popular in Italy before Shakespeare decided to use it. Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne when it was performed.
The recent versions of the play have been adapted many times because some directors have either changed the play version or have updated and rewritten the play script to appeal to a wider audience another point is that boys and men would have only been in the play until the 1660’s. The text starts after a prologue,” Do you bite your thumbs at us sir? ” this is written in archaic language, this shows that William Shakespeare wrote the play during the Elizabethan times.
Characters such as Gregory, Sampson, Abraham, Benvolio, Officer, Capulet, Lady Capulet, Montague, Lady Montague, Prince and Tybalt are involved in Act One Scene One, which have a result in the overall plot of the play; the two characters Gregory and Sampson are blamed for causing another brawl in the market place. However in the film the play starts the same with a prologue and then starts with the two families fighting at a petrol station. The three characters I am going to choose are Abraham, Romeo and Benvolio.
I have decided to choose them because they are some of the key characters in the first act of the play and in the first act of the film. Luhrmann decides to change the name of Abraham to Abra, this is because in the modern day people would have their names shortened and it would be easier to relate to them. Luhrmann decides to dress the Capulets in Hawaiian shirts and the Montagues as cowboys. Luhrmann has decided to do this to show how the two families are totally different. The way they dress gives them their own identity.
The Montagues dressed as cowboys to show that they are ruthless and aggressive however the Capulets dressed in Hawaiian shirts show that they are laid back and relaxed. Structure The setting for the play is in Italy, Verona in the early fifteen century. In Act One Scene One the play is set in Sycamore grove as well as the market place. This is where the play begins when two of the Montague family members are walking down the market place when they see a Capulet, and then they start quarrelling.
The setting of Act One Scene One takes place in a petrol station where the Capulet’s and Montague’s meet, there is a small fight and bullets are exchanged between the two families. Before a car drives off and Tybalt takes out his gun and shoots the passenger in the car in the head. During the fight in the petrol station a fire was started by a match igniting petrol on top of a crack in a ground in the shape of a gross. This also showed that religion had a part in the feud. The crosses on the back of there heads showed their religion, Montagues were Protestants and Capulets were Catholics.
Every serving man had a pistol with a motif, which was unique to the two families. Pistols in the film were called swords even though guns were replacing swords from the text. Pistols had distinctive motifs on them, representing what family’s they came from and whether they were protestant or catholic. The men also had their haircuts representing their families and had tattoos repenting their families too. The film is introduced to us by a series of quick photos with the characters names that introduce us to the characters. This film is very modern, you can tell this by looking at the cars and the way the people dress in Hawaiian shirts.