How does Baz Luhrman reveal Shakespeare to a modern audience? Consider the effectiveness in the opening of the film "Romeo and Juliet"

Essay by asher7High School, 10th gradeA+, November 2006

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Baz Luhrman reveals Shakespeare to a modern audience by taking the original script and setting it in modern day time and setting. Through this he shows us that the morals of Shakespeare's plays are still true for us and he relates them to situations we are used to. He also achieves his purpose by film techniques such as music and sound effects, camera angles, props, costumes and actors.

The first thing we see in the film depicts the scene of the bitter rivalry between the Capulets and the Montagues. We see the two large, rivalling towers next to each other showing the balance of power and friction between them. This is also shown by the newspaper article in which we see with the pictures of each house shown on opposite pages. We then are shown how serious the conflict can be in the prologue, "Ancient Grudge", and, "New Mutiny" (both backed up by newspaper headlines.)

We are then shown images of destruction which the feud has caused.

We are then introduced to the 'boys' of each superpower. They are shown to be very contrasting, the Montague boys are portrayed as ignorant thugs who act tough but play soft. This is shown by their unbuttoned shirts and generally careless attitude. They are naturally inferior to the Capulet boys, for example the Montague bites his thumb at the Capulets and then tries to run away, trying to take back the insult when threatened. However Luhrman then introduces us to Capulets who are very different. Immediately they are shown as tough, almost mafia-like. This is done by their dark clothes that are covered in metal which symbolises armour, they are characterised by their tough, jagged appearance. Everything about them shows us that they mean business. They are also shown as superior by...