How has the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare been transformed into "Romeo+Juliet" by Baz Luhrmann?

Essay by laamusiqueHigh School, 10th gradeA-, March 2008

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Baz Luhrmann transformed William Shakespeare's play of Romeo and Juliet, to a fast moving, modern adaptation, the film Romeo + Juliet. Luhrmann has transformed the context, setting, costume, music, language and the themes in Romeo and Juliet. Although Luhrmann has transformed some things, he has redefined the love story gone wrong and made a film about the corruption in society. Luhrmann has transformed the original Shakespeare play using various film techniques and language devices, such as in the prologue, and the ballroom scene. He appropriated the text to fit into the world of love and violence that Luhrmann has created.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is set in the small renaissance Italian city of Verona Italy, in 17th century. In that time men had power over women, and they were seen as being superior. In Shakespeare's play, men played the roles of the men as well as the women. The society back then was seen as being patriarchal they believe in magic, fate and destiny.

This was reflected in the prologue where phrases such as "star-crossed lovers" and "death marked love" are used to show the love the two main characters have for each other, and also to show that their fate lies both in love and death. Theatre was performed differently during Shakespeare's time. They had fewer props, and did not have as many sound effects. Shakespeare uses a classical orchestra. The audience then still found the play interesting. The costumes used was one of the ways to make the play more interesting, they reflected the gender of the character being played, which were always played by men.

Shakespeare's prologue is read by a chorus, which explains the situation, and tells us that we are in Verona." Two households, both alike in dignity" this tells us that the two families...