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Juliet – Baz Luhrmann production Essay

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Romeo seems like a passionate, romantic and excitable young man. He seems to like the idea of being in love, although I would suggest the feelings he has for Juliet begin only as infatuation and grow throughout the balcony scene. In the beginning of the scene Romeo is portrayed as determined, wary and possibly a little frightened as he knocks over furniture and scrambles up the trellis. His eyes are continuously darting around and you get a sense of desperation because he is panting.

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When he climbs the trellis in the hope of seeing Juliet but discovers the nurse instead, his facial expression turns from one of lust and longing, to one of utter disgust and horror. When Romeo scurries down the trellis, his demeanour is hurried and rushed and we get a sense of urgency as he holds his breath. When Juliet appears from the elevator, he is flattered that she is speaking of him “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? ” After a short while he begins to shadow her, seemingly taken aback by her affectionate remarks and breathtaking beauty.

Romeo seems almost intoxicated by Juliet; he continuously gazes deep into her eyes and follows her very closely throughout the scene. When he kisses her although tenderly, I get a sense of hunger and passion; he is smitten by every word, which seems to make his infatuation grow. However, he also shows foolish bravado in the swimming pool when he shouts, “thy kinsmen are no stop to me”. Romeo’s character in this film also outlines how impulsive and rash he is, as he does not object when Juliet proposes marriage, but instead smiles dreamily into her eyes.

He seems devastated when they have to part “Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, but love from love, toward school with heavy looks. ” Romeo is in love with the idea of love and during the course of the scene he is portrayed as romantic and passionate but also appears to be irrational, impulsive and desperate because he is so agreeable. Karen Clark 27th October 2003 Romeo & Juliet Baz Luhrmann Production 1(i) Characters and Characteristics Juliet Capulet Juliet seems like a thoughtful, sensible and practical young girl.

When she enters the scene we see her deep in thought. It is soon obvious that she is quite upset as she leans against the statue with her hand on her hip and a look of dismay on her face as she says “Ay me! ” Juliet’s body language expresses her annoyance; her arms are folded when she talks about rebelling against their family names; “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet;” Although when she remarks “Doff thy name” her expression and speech has changed and become quite dreamy.

In this section of the scene we also see the child in Juliet; When she says “nor any other part belonging to a man” she almost laughs, as a child would laugh with innocent embarrassment about a mans anatomy. She appears frightened but practical and dwells on the word “death” in the sentence “And the place death, considering who thou art” she pushes him in desperation under the water when a security guard appears to check that all is well, then smiles sweetly at the guard until he leaves. When they engage in their first kiss you see Juliet close her eyes in anticipation, she gently caresses his face before pushing him away in embarrassment.

Again, during this section of the scene we see the inquisitive child in Juliet as she almost whispers “Dost thy love me? ” it shows how young and immature she is, she is looking for confirmation of his love and looks at Romeo the way a child would look at her father for approval. When Romeo asks “O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? ” her reply is one of anger and shock as she replies “What satisfaction canst thou have tonight? ” the expression on her face is one of annoyance and disbelief, I believe that this is the only time throughout the scene that she may question his love for her.

Juliet is a very capable young lady who truly believes she is in love with Romeo; during the scene she is portrayed as a shy, nai?? ve and innocent child, but also appears to be a very determined, sensible and practical young lady. Karen Clark 27th October 2003 Romeo & Juliet Baz Luhrmann Production 1(ii) Dramatic Devices In the beginning of the scene we see Romeo climbing the orchard wall in complete darkness, but when he enters the swimming pool area the fairy lights illuminate the immediate vicinity, coupled with the floral trellis this makes the setting quite romantic.

You get a sense of the era because the house is traditional in style, from the authentic continental windows to the ageing balusters on the balcony. The size of the house, together with the presence of a swimming pool gives the impression that Juliet comes from a very affluent background. The costumes seem appropriate for the period; Juliet wears a simple plain white dress, possibly portraying virginity and virtuosity and Romeo wears the costume of a knight, which could signify valour and gallantry. In contrast we see the security guard sporting a very modern outfit complete with baseball cap, earpiece and headset.

The music used throughout the scene is somewhat soft and subtle, although at times it becomes a little bit eerie and has a sense of mystery. The majority of the scene is quite close and the camera angles depict this, although the shot of the Virgin Mary through the curtains and the dropping of the cross on the chain deliver a sense of foreboding. Most of the scene takes place in the swimming pool rather than on the balcony and this is dramatised by Romeo and Juliet falling into the pool on two occasions and the subsequent underwater scenes. Karen Clark 27th October 2003 Romeo & Juliet.

Baz Luhrmann Production 1(iii) Themes The theme of the film immediately tells of a forbidden love, this is shown with Romeo’s movements at the beginning of the scene; He is skulking around in the shadows, panicking when he smashes a statue and hiding when he thinks someone may have heard him. Some other examples of the prohibition are when Juliet addresses the outrage her family would have upon the discovery of Romeo in the orchard; and when the security guard appears to check that all is well and Juliet immediately submerges Romeo in the swimming pool in an attempt to conceal him.

From Juliet’s aspect we perceive her first love, she gently caresses Romeo wherever possible and we feel a sense of longing and anticipation, possibly because she may feel disloyal and treacherous towards her family if she continues with the alliance. Lust plays a large part during this scene, although you get the sense that Romeo believes he is in love with Juliet, at the beginning of the scene while he is still hiding, you get the impression that Romeo wants to touch and be intimate with Juliet from the expression on his face and his body language.

There is also a sense of impending doom, earlier in the scene Juliet says “I have no joy of this contract tonight, it is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, too like the lightening, which doth cease to be”, this could mean that once lightening has struck all that remains is an empty space and charred remnants of what once was, therefore lightening may strike because of the family feud and if they continue to love each other they will cease to exist. Karen Clark.

27th October 2003 Romeo & Juliet Baz Luhrmann Production 1(iv) My Response The balcony scene in the Baz Luhrmann production of Romeo and Juliet is in my opinion inadequate. It does not seem to portray Romeo and Juliet as “young lovers” and the setting is too modern for the Shakespearean language. Had the speech been translated to modern text the film would have been a massive hit as the story of Romeo and Juliet is still extremely relevant in our modern society.

In my opinion the actors did not do the characters any justice, their faces were not innocent enough and they appeared to be much older than we believed Romeo and Juliet to be. I expected the scene to be quite romantic and was most disappointed and quite bored very early into the scene. I get the impression from the scene that Juliet is neither virginal nor innocent; she seems to know what she wants and has a very adult like way of getting it. She is practical, calm and pushy, more like a manipulative woman than an innocent child.

Although in the scene we do see aspects of Juliet’s inner child, like when she innocently asks “Dost thy love me? ” she is seems to be seeking assurances as a child would; We also see a mature and confident young lady, from the way she reacts to his plea of dissatisfaction to the way she kisses him so lustfully and skilfully. If she were a child at the age of 13 or 14, I would presume that the physical aspect of their relationship would be pretty new to her and she would be very clumsy, awkward and uncomfortable.

On at least two occasions during the course of the scene she pushes him away and then captivates him again, and in my opinion only a more mature and experienced woman would do this, not an innocent child who has met her first love. Romeo is portrayed as a determined and desperate young man, although we see what seems to be romance during the scene, I believe that Romeo is only infatuated with Juliet. I get the impression that all he wants to do is appease her so that he can return to her bedroom to be more intimate. When he says, “O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

” the reply that he really wants to hear is “Let us depart to the bedroom and seal our vow of love” so he is taken aback with her reply. The way Romeo looks at Juliet throughout the scene is more lustful and hungry than loving and romantic and in my opinion although I would expect this of a 15 or 16 year old boy, the story is meant to be one of love and the balcony scene is the epitome of this love, instead of desperation Luhrmann should have played more towards the romantic side of Romeo rather than the overbearing and ingratiating character he is portrayed as.

Karen Clark 27th October 2003 Romeo & Juliet Baz Luhrmann Production 2 Imagery In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses a variety of languages for various purposes; throughout the balcony scene we see many different linguistic devices including similes, metaphors and oxymorons. These devices are used to build a picture of the scene and also show Shakespeare’s talent as a playwright.

The language of love is particularly powerful within the balcony scene; “O speak again, bright angel, for thou art as glorious to this night, being o’er my head as a winged messenger of heaven” Shakespeare uses this simile to describe how beautiful Juliet is, he compares Juliet to an angel because she appears at the window above Romeo and is silhouetted by the lamp light from within.

Later in the scene Shakespeare uses a metaphor to describe how Juliet recognises Romeo’s voice, even though they have only just met; “My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words of thy tongue’s uttering, yet I know the sound. ” In my opinion this metaphor adds warmth and a strong sense of feeling and atmosphere. Alliteration is used several times throughout the scene “The orchard walls are high and hard to climb” and “How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, like softest music to attending ears!

” This adds emphasis and significance to the descriptions. Towards the end of the scene there are two oxymoron’s in close proximity, both spoken by Juliet, “So loving-jealous of his liberty” and “Parting is such sweet sorrow” Although contradictory, they give importance to the statements. You may also note that Romeo’s final speech is delivered as poetic imagery, which is especially effective in portraying love. Some of Shakespeare’s imagery presents popular representations of that era.

At the time, religion was very important, so by including religious imagery, for example Juliet appearing angelic, it portrays Romeo and Juliet’s love as heavenly and beautiful, something that was fated or meant to be. Shakespeare’s natural ability for the language of love is astounding and impressive and he applies this with unmistakable talent. Without Shakespeare’s competence with rhyme and imagery, the dialect would never have been so rich. The language of Shakespeare is full of humour, insults, irony and word play and is a joy to observe and a delight to study.

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