Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scene i

In a posting of about two hundred words, discuss which version of Mercutio’s “A plague on your houses” (3.1.91) scene you prefer from Romeo and Juliet.  Do you prefer Zeffirelli’s version or Luhrmann’s version?  Remember to use several examples from your “viewing charts,” considering setting, characterization, mood, theme, or symbols.

Please adhere to proper language and grammar.  You will receive a mark out of /15 for content, spelling, grammar etc.  Please also note that you should be typing your comment ahead of time and proofing it before you post.  Once a comment is posted to the site, it’s there!  When you log on, please create a name that easily identifies you; if you pick a nickname, it must have part of your name in it.  The deadline for your posting is Thurs. Oct. 29th by midnight.  Note that this is a stringent deadline.

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~ by Ms. Cox on October 28, 2009.

26 Responses to “Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scene i”

  1. Romeo And Juliet Act 3 scene 1
    I prefer by far Zeffirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet more then Luhrmann’s. I believe that Romeo and Juliet is a classic play that should be performed the way it was written by Shakespeare, I think that nothing should be changed drastically or it just ruins the play. Since Romeo and Juliet was written in Elizabethan times It should be remade like that and the setting and clothing and the way the actors speak should be quite similar to the way Shakespeare wrote it. The Reasons why I choose Zeffirelli’s is because his version is made how it should look nothing seemed out of place or looked wrong when you watched it you felt as though you knew what Shakespeare was trying to get across as the scenery and how it was supposed to look like. One of the most noticeable things I saw between the 2 movies was that in Zeffirellis they all fought with swords and in Luhrmann’s they fought physically like with fists and with guns which seems so weird for a Romeo and Juliet movie. Also I noticed that the costumes were completely different in the fact that in zeffirelli’s version they all looked like Shakespeare characters like something he would write about they were wearing tights and kind of baggy shirts very old looking and you could tell the difference between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s. The Montague’s were wearing darker colors like black, brown and grey and the Capulet’s were wearing bright colors like red, yellow and orange which was clever in the fact that you could tell who was who when the people were standing around Tybalt and Mercutio cheering them on. Also another thing was when after mercutio had died and Romeo goes after Tybalt to fight him in zeffirelli’s Romeo is more calm and cool about his emotions but In the other movie Romeo goes crazy and starts freaking out and its just so odd. Overall I defiantly like Zeffirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet way more then Lurhmann’s.
    By : Lexie Gillies

    • Act 3, Scene 1
      Mercutio Death Scene

      After reading Act 3, Scene 1 in Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet we were able to watch different versions of it. I enjoyed Zeffirelli’s version because of how they portrayed Mercutio, the setting they chose and Tybalt’s cockiness.
      I loved Mercutio in this scene. When your reading the play it’s sometimes hard to imagine how the characters are acting. After watching this scene I was able to understand Mercutio’s character a lot better. He was funny, outgoing, witty and kind. The crowd was always laughing at his quick come backs and funny behaviour.
      The setting was what I imagined it to be. It was in the main streets of Italy. Around the fight is where all the spectators gathered to watch. When the scene first begins Mercutio is in a fountain taking a bath. Then from a far you see Romeo run in, he kind of bumps into a few people because he is so happy and “in love”. Before Tybalt leaves, Mercutio jumps out of the fountain and the scene moves into the middle of the court. I liked how they moved around using the whole space.
      I didn’t really like Tybalt in the book, but when I watched this scene his cockiness kind of grew on me. Tybalt is very proud for who he is. You could tell he wasn’t to pleased with Mercutio’s attitude towards him. Mercutio could’ve probably cared less that Tybalt was a capulet. Tybalt ended up killing Mercutio and ran away from the scene. By Tybalt’s expression after the stabbing, he was most definitely not proud of his actions.

      By Sara Richard

  2. The version of Mercutio’s death speech that I enjoy the most is the Zefirelli version. I enjoy this version the most because I find it stays true to the story. For example, in Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, when Mercutio dies he is stabbed with a sword. This happens in the Zefirelli version as well. How ever in the Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio does get stabbed but with a piece of glass. Instead of getting stabbed with a sword. Also, in the Zefirelli version, the time period in which it takes place, is about the same time in which Shakespeare would have produced this play, therefore it is more true to the time. Where as the Luhrmann version takes place in a more modern time, with guns, and cars, and more technological things. Finally, in the Luhrmann version of this scene the weather mimics Romeos attitude when Mercutio gets killed. In the Zefirelli version of the scene, Romeo’s emotions are not mimicked by the weather. Which is true to Shakespeare’s play. These three reasons are why I find that the Zefirelli version of this death scene is better than the Luhrmann version of the scene and more true to Shakespeare’s original play writing.

  3. I liked the movie Romeo and Juliet by Luhrman better than the one done by Zeferelli because of many reason like the scene, acting and weapons. The scene in the Zeferelli movie is on a beach and a street road, has the Luhrman movie was set in the same time has the Romeo and Juliet book it also had the same scenes that Shakespeare would have used, such as the back streets and the main plaza. The weapons used in the Luhrman version were more for the century, they used swords and daggers which is what originally would have been used, has the Zeferelli used modern day guns with cars. The acting in both movies is good but I personally thought that Leonardo Decaprio over acted the scene where he vowed for revenge on Tybalt. The actor in Zeferelli’s versions actor of Murcutio died a little over the top and over lived his death, the actor who played Murcutio in the Luhrman’s version made his point of cursing the houses then died. All and all both movies were good but I enjoyed Luhrmans better.

  4. Between the two choses of movies that we watched, I have to say that I preferred the Zefirelli version. It is a lot more realistic to how Shakespeare would have wanted his play to be performed. When you are watching the Luhrmann version and they are talking in Shakespearean it does not really fit with the background or the setting of the movie. When you think about Shakespearean you think about an old town that is ruled by a family and has many characteristics that would be the same as a princes village from a fairy tale. Also, I thought that Mercutio’s death scene was a lot more thought out. It seemed like in the Luhrmann version Mercutio just died and that was the end of it. But in the Zefirelli version they played out his death, using the characteristics that the audience already knew about Mercutio. For example, the audience knows that Mercutio is a joker and that he does not take things very seriously, so they when they used the people that were watching Mercutio and Tybalt fight as a way to kind of pretend like Mercutio was faking it all, it made the scene more interesting. There was more of a reaction when they found out that Mercutio was actually dying and that he was wounded by Tybalt. This is why I enjoyed Zefirelli’s version of Mercutio’s death scene more than Luhrmann.

  5. Zeffirelli and Luhrmann both made excellent versions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet but I prefer Zeffirelli’s version of Mercutio’s death scene. Zeffirelli’s version was done in 1968 and is very similar to the Romeo and Juliet Second Edition script book. One reason I prefer Zeffirelli’s version is the amazing sword fights. Mercutio had an unbelievable sword fight with Tybalt which lead to Tybalt’s death. Also, Romeo and Tybalt had an exquisite fight which led to Tybalt’s death. Another reason I prefer Zeffirelli’s version over Luhrmann’s is Zeffirelli’s is more realistic. It is more realistic because carrying swords and getting in sword fights weren’t rare back in Shakespeare’s time. In Luhrmann’s version it’s set in the present where having gun fight and a person shooting a gun in public is fairly rare. Although there are many reasons why overall I prefer Zeffirelli’s, there are some aspects I didn’t like. One thing I did not like is I could not relate to it due to the time being set way before my time. Luhrman’s version on other hand I can relate to because it is set in the present. There are many reasons why I like both versions of Romeo and Juliet but overall I prefer Zeffirelli’s version of Mercutio’s death scene.

  6. I prefer the Zefferelli version to the Luhrman version of the Mercutio death scene from the Romeo and Juliet movie. The clothing and setting fit together perfectly with how they spoke (Shakespearean). I also liked the fact that although in the Zefferelli version, everyone was dramatic (because it was a play), they did not make it so dramatic that it became unrealistic or annoying. In the older version of Romeo and Juliet I found the mood to be more appropriate. in the Luhrman All of the characters carried an angry tone in their voice, except for Benvolio. In the Luhrman version the mood was very tense , which at times was inappropriate for the speeches of the play. Sometimes when Mercutio was angry it overshadowed the humor of the joke that was being made. In the Luhrman version it seemed as if Mercutio and Tybalt, when they were fighting, had absolutely no thoughts that they could get arrested by the police. In the Zefferelli version Benvolio at least warns Mercutio to fight where he cannot be seen in public and therefore get in trouble with the Prince. In the Lurhman version of the Mercutio death scene they overlooked the fact that Tybalt was always in the latest fashions. Instead they tried to make him look scary. In the Zefferelli version, it was quite clear that the Capulet’s had much better fashion sense then the Montagues.

  7. By contrasting the two versions of Romeo and Juliet, Zefirelli’s version and Luhrman’s version, I have concluded that I prefer Zefirelli’s edition of this play. Since Romeo and Juliet is a classic play, Zefirelli adhered to that idea and created the movie so that it resembled the characteristics of this play as much as possible. This was evident in the characters, costumes, settings and weapons. Luhrman decided to make the play fit into more modern times, but I believe it was a bad idea. The whole movie seemed out of place for multiple reasons. They didn’t follow the details of Romeo and Juliet properly, hence making the original play look pretty bad. The characters were not dressed appropriately, (in fact they looked ridiculous and looked to be as if they were dressing up as charcaters from cartoons), the setting of the scene from the play took place at the beach instead of a town, and some of the characters’ personality didn’t resemeble that of the characters from them the original play. Also, the language they were communicating in, which seemed to be older English, didn’t seem to be suitable at that time period which seemed to be in the 1980’s to 1990’s. One thing that made Mercutio’s death seem more reasonable was the fact that they fought with swords like in the original play. By have combat with swords, Mercutio was able to expose his dramatic personality which showed the audience that no matter what situation he was in, he always took the problem as a joke and made fun of it with actions and words. He was acting and joking during the fight showing what type of person he really is. Kind of like Joker from Batman. By using guns and fists in the fight in Luhrman’s version, Mercutio was not able to show his normal dramatic self like in the original play. He was taking the situation seriously which ruined an important aspect of Mercutio’s character. Mercutio was more willing to fight and showed more anger whereas in Luhrman’s, he seemed reluctant to fight and showed signs of being worried. Mercutio also reacted more with the crowd around him in Zefirelli’s version by showing his drama and acting. When the crowd would go silent and serious, Mercutio would quickly make a joke to get them laughing again. This occured at the time when Mercutio was about to get stabbed in the throat by Tybalt, but then reacted in a manner that made the crowd laugh. The crowd had and affect on Mercutio’s actions, but Luhrman didn’t show that in his version. The crowd plays a big role in this scene at the time of Mercutio’s death. They believed that Mercutio was pretending to die when he actually wasn’t. Even though both editions conveyed the same idea, it was better expressed in Zefirelli’s version. He put more thought and effort into his edition of Romeo and Juliet at the scene of Mercutio’s death, as well as the whole movie.

  8. Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scene i

    Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann both did great work on recreating Shakespeare’s 1595 tragedy Romeo and Juliet. In the scene where Mercutio dies, Franco Zeffirelli does a much better job of adapting the play to film. In the 1968 version everything is exactly the way Shakespeare would have intended it to be. I thought that Baz Luhrmann’s version was intended to be good but ended up being corny and didn’t have the right feeling when you watched it. Baz Luhrmann’s version mixed Elizabethan text with Ebonics, and it doesn’t flow. When Mercutio dies he prolongs it to much, he walks around talks a little bit then dies. The scene takes to long and does a really bad job of adding the thunder that foreshadows the bad events to come. When Leonardo DiCaprio is on the ground with a gun pointed to his head, he begins to over act and it makes the scene funny instead of suspenseful. Franco Zeffirelli does a good job in this scene. He has great set design, nice costumes and all of the actors do a good job at acting. When Mercutio dies, he doesn’t prolong the dying part too much it seems just right, because the stab wound he experienced would have gave him time to walk, talk then die. If I could watch the rest of either of the movies I would watch Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version because of these reasons.

    By: Michael Coates

  9. I like Zefirelli’s version of the book “Romeo and Juliet” because everything is more appropriate in regards to Shakespeare’s time. The setting, the language, the costumes and props are some of the reasons I think the Zefirelli version is better than Luhrman’s. I prefer the setting better in Zefirelli’s movie because it takes place in the late 1500’s in Verona, Italy and this is the time period for the books setting. I like how the speech of Elizabethan English fits in with the setting, while in Luhrman’s version it takes place in modern day Verona, Italy. Luhrman has the characters speaking in Elizabethan English while the setting appears to be 20th century. I didn’t understand the use of the Elizabethan language Luhrman’s modern day movie. I also liked the costumes better in the Zefirelli version because they seem more fitting to the time period of the book. I know that the Luhrman version is to be modern day but the fact that the Capulets wear leather clothing while the Montagues wear things completely different like Hawaiian shirts is just bizarre. I also didn’t like how they used guns in Luhrman’s because in the book they used sword and it just seems weird and very inappropriate.

  10. The two directors Zeffirelli and Luhrmann had two very different impersonations of the scene where Mercutio dies in Romeo And Juliet. Zeffirelli’s impersonation of the play was very basic but well done, where as Luhrmann’s variation was filmed in present time with many changes from Shakespeare’s original script. I personal like the Zeffirelli’s a lot more than Luhrmann’s for many reasons. The settings from Zeffirelli’s idea of Romeo And Juliet makes the movie that much better, it is set in the right decade and has many unique qualities. Where in Luhrmann production, it is on a beach but in the script it describes the scene in a very popular of a city ( the town center). As much as the setting is better in Zeffirelli’s make, the characters in are also better because of the way they play their role, how they act while they are acting and their appearance really fits their role. For an example Romeo in his film is very loving and acts like Romeo from the script. Where as Romeo from Luhrmann’s, he is very loving but he has a very emotional personality which doesn’t match the script of Romeo. The final thing that makes Zeffirelli’s better than Luhrmann’s is the humor concept because Zeffirelli’s production shows the scripts humor very well. When Mercutio gets stabbed he is acting like nothing happened and making it into a joke which makes the crowd laugh and think he is a clown. Where in Luhrmann’s film he is saying the same lines but the way he presents them is not as amusing as the other film. Both films of Romeo And Juliet were well done but by these points my favorite is Zeffirelli’s.

  11. Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann both recreated this act from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet very well. I like the first version of Romeo and Juliet directed by Zeffirelli better, because this is the way Shakespeare would have wanted it to be. In this version, the costumes are a lot better because they are more realistic. The characters wore leggings that were two different colours (one side a darker shade and the other a lighter shade of the colour) and larger shirts with baggy sleeves, done up with laces. They had vests over top of their shirts, and some people had hats. Also, the Capulets all had orange, yellow and red in their outfit in some form, so you could tell who was on what side when everyone was in a group or fighting. In Luhrmann’s version of Romeo and Juliet, the most characters are just wearing everyday clothes that they would wear to the beach. It is more modern and that is not how people would have dressed at the time this play was written and not how Shakespeare would have pictured it. Also, the Mercutio death scene was better in Zeffirelli’s movie because the fight with swords, like they do in the book. It is more dramatic than Luhrmann’s version, because you can’t get the same effect of the fight scene when you are fighting with guns and fists. The crowd plays a very important part in Zeffirelli’s version after Mercutio has been stabbed, but in Zuhrmann’s version, the crowd has no influence on what is going on. In the book, Shakespeare does not talk about cars, so I don’t think they should have added the chase scene. The setting and the dialogue in the play do not match in Luhrmann’s version, because it is a modern day setting with older language. I prefer Zeffirelli’s version because that is how I pictured it from reading the book.
    By: Felicia Dagenais

  12. During class, we got the chance to see and compare the two versions of Mercutio’s death. The two versions were Zefirelli’s older concept of Romeo and Juliet and Luhrman’s more modern version. From these two movies, I preferred Zefirelli’s version much better because it followed Shakespear’s play much better, how the actors delivered their lines, and the setting of the scene.

    Zefirelli showed a better representations of Shakespears play because it was set in the right period, setting and costumes. Zefirelli captured excactly what Shakespeare intended to show to the audience perfectly. It seemed more believable to watch this version of Romeo and Juliet because most people are used to imagining an older time period for Shakespeare’s plays. Luhrman’s verision showed a foreign time period.

    The other reason Zefirelli’s version being better than Luhrman’s was the delivery of the speeches. Mercutio in Zefirelli’s movie portrayed more of a comical side that Luhrman’s Mercutio didn’t quite match up to. When watching Zefirelli’s scene of Mercutio’s death, the speech can make anyone feel saddened by the situation unlike Luhrman’s that ruins the moment with the thunderstorm and darkness when Mercutio dies (pathetic fallery).

    And finally, Zefirelli’s version was more preferred because the setting changes and the setting overall for the scene was more appropriate and followed the play. Some may like Luhrman’s setting of the beach, but most prefer the main streets and beautiful scenery of Italy.

  13. Between Luhrman’s and Zeferellis respective versions of Romeo and Juliet, Zefferelli is the only director who truly captures the play. But as opposed to speaking about what makes Zeferelli’s version good, it’s far more fun to say why Luhrman’s version is so terrible.

    First off, what made Luhrman think that some sort of quasi-neo-futuristic setting would properly represent the play? Perhaps if he had merely chosen to do a modern version of the play it wouldn’t have turned out so god-awful. But no, modern society wasn’t enough for Luhrman. He had to make it ridiculous. Not only does the Elizabethan language seem grossly out of place, but the actors seem ill fitted speaking them. As a side point, where in the civilized world can someone walk around with an unconcealed weapon and fire it off at will (excluding Florida…)?

    Bearing in mind that I understand pathetic fallacy, I was wondering about the strange weather patterns that plague Verona Beach. I think Luhrman has blown the idea of a flash flood way out of proportion. Clouds appear virtually instantaneously to herald the death of Mercutio (who by the way was portrayed terribly). It must have been some sort of meteorological marvel. I have more to say but am out of words…

  14. Romeo & Juliet Act 3, scene i

    In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio’s death scene is very agonizing. Although Zefirelli and Luhrman both portray the scene differently and effectively, I prefer Zefirelli’s version for quite a few reasons. The first is use of costumes. Zefirelli has the actors and actresses wearing typical clothing for this time period. The men wore tights and baggy shirts, and the women in dresses. On the other hand Luhrman has modern clothing like beach clothes, and black leather. It seems out of place to me to be quoting Shakespeare while looking like that. Also the tone of voice makes everything seem different then what it’s supposed to mean. Another aspect that draws my attention to Zefirelli’s version is the emotions. I think that Leonardo Dicaprio acts too emotional is some parts (i.e. when he’s in the car), and not emotional enough in others (when Tybalt is beating him up). A character played very well is Zefirelli’s movie is Mercutio. His humor made the scene funny while tragic at the same time. The last criteria which swayed my decision was overall setting. Zefirelli had traditional stone buildings and intricate mosaic tile in the church. Even though Luhrman was trying to modernize the play, his mix of beaches, leather and Shakespeare made it funny but confusing. All in all I think that Zefirelli portrayed Mercutio’s death scene more suitable to the late 1500’s.

    Arieanna

  15. As much as I love Leonardo Dicaprio, I would have to say that the Zeffirelli’s version of the scene shown was much better. The setting seemed more believable to be Shakespearian time apposed to the beach, from Luhrmann’s version. Also the way the actors spoke in Zeffirelli’s version sound fluent and proper. Where as in the other version the words seemed out of place and strange. In costuming, Zeffirelli had authentic clothing, with swords, and silly hats. In the newer version they wear beach clothing, and gangster suits, for weapons they have guns in holsters hanging from they’re shoulders. For have the same title, the two movies are very different. I do like the new version a lot, but to look at the two, as Romeo and Juliet, Zeffirelli’s version make much more sense. One thing that I like better in Luhrmann’s version, was when Romeo was on his knees telling Tybalt , that he loves him, as if they were cousins, ( which the audience knows they are). It just suits the mood more. So, I do prefer Zeffirelli to Luhrmann, because, some items in the newer version don’t sit right to be Romeo and Juliet.

    -Dani C. Atkinson

  16. Zefirelli vs. Lurhmann

    In comparison, Zefirelli and Lurhmann’s versions of Romeo and Juliet were about as evenly matched as a mouse is to an elephant. Zefirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet was by far more accurate to Shakespeare’s perception of the play, much less contrived (with the lines and so forth) whereas Lurhmann tried to incorporate more modern activities into his version of the play. Lurhmann’s version was awful, just awful. Apparently Shakespeare wanted his characters to wield 10-inch Mark XIX Desert Eagles and fire them wildly into the water at Verona Beach (which by the way has no evident relevance to the play what so ever). Where were the authorities? I was shocked Lurhmann didn’t have a contingent of royal guards with swords and bucklers arrest all of these criminals with the unconcealed weapons on the beach. However horribly out of place that might be, I wouldn’t put it past him. There is already an evident pattern of unrealistic ideas being incorporated into his version of Romeo and Juliet. Apart from the fact that each of the characters was indeed wielding dangerous magnums, in broad daylight, at a public beach, they were also speaking Elizabethan (which as you may have noticed, was absolutely in contradiction with the setting). I would also take pleasure in announcing that Dicaprio, along with all of the others, (you too Chris Rock) were horribly overdramatic. The chase scene was absolutely unnecessary seeing as how it had so little to do with Shakespeare and the feud between Romeo and Tybalt. In Lurhmann’s version of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio’s tragic death story seemed far less tragic and much more contrived. It’s for all of these reasons, among others, that I think Lurhmann’s version of the play was the worse “reenactment”, if you can call it that.

  17. After watching two different versions of Mercutio’s death scene from two different time periods and directors, I’ve decided that I prefer Zeffirelli’s 1968 version over Lurhmann’s 1996 version. I understand that Lurhmann was trying to recreate Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in a more creative and modern way that may appeal to the younger generation today, but taking all aspects of the scenes into consideration, Zeffirelli created a more realistic,emotional,and visually simple yet beautiful Mercutio’s death scene. Lurhmann’s scene was just bizarre and humorous to watch.

    Since I’m a visual learner, if I had not already known that I was watching Mercutio’s death scene from Shakespeare’s play, then I would’ve had no idea that Lurhmann’s Mercutio death scene had anything to do with Shakespeare (apart from the Elizabethan language). Mercutio’s death scene is one of the most important scenes in the whole play, and I believe if any director wants to tackle a Shakespeare play, then they need to understand the intensity of the message intended to be portrayed to the audience. The costumes, settings, actors, props, music, atmosphere and portrayal of the scene in Zeffirelli’s film is much more appropriate and respectful to Shakespeare’s original intention of the scene. Most of the audience would have been either too horrified or laughing too much to understand the importance of Mercutio’s death scene in Lurhmann’s film.

    The time which the films were produced may also have a huge effect on how the two scenes were done. In 1968, there wasn’t as much technology and special effects to use in movies, so that was probably a reason why it seems more realistic because Shakespeare definitely couldn’t have added guns or have lightning appear all of a sudden during the performance of his plays. Lurhmann took advantage of the technology and effects that the modern society has and decided to make the film visually appealing to the modern generation audience. I believe that it’s a bit unfair to say that Lurhmann’s version was completely horrible because he was trying to target the film towards a different generation of people and unless everyone’s a die-heart fan of Shakespeare, then a lot of people today would have enjoyed the new Romeo and Juliet. He was not trying to portray Romeo and Juliet like how Shakespeare intended it because what was the point of having 2 of the exact same films? I actually think that the way that Lurhmann portrayed the play was quite interesting and creative although a bit over the top. That being said, I’ll stick with Zeffirelli’s version because it’s more genuine and true to Shakespeare’s original play.

    -Amy Lin (Sorry that it’s so long, I couldn’t help it.)

  18. Now I am torn on this topic between which film adaption of Romeo and Juliet is better. Being a film maker, and a dreamer myself, I can imagine how frustrating it would be as a writer to see my original work changed, and the way I wanted my story to be perceived, which I believe Shakespeare would have felt if he saw Luhrman’s version, and he would much more pleased by Zefirelli’s version. In seeing as though it sticks true to his work. Such as in the clothing they wore, the location, the way they spoke, the time period, in other words everything Shakespeare intended. This version was note-worthy, almost makes you feel as though you are in Elizabethan time, and captures you into the world of Romeo and Juliet.

    But in respect to Luhrman being an artist, I can appreciate his imagination how he interpreted Romeo and Juliet in his mind. Unlike Zefirelli who was taking you into Shakespeare’s imagination, Luhrman was taking you into HIS imagination. Also, Luhrman when he took on this project probably already figured that there was a version of Romeo and Juliet that followed the original play religiously, so he wasn’t going to waste his time, remaking something that had already been done. Instead he decided to turn this story that has been the same for hundreds of years and add a twist of imagination, and a strange modernness to it.

    And also I respect Luhrman for staying true to Shakespeare’s dialogue and actions of the characters. For example, he still dressed the Montague’s and the Capulet’s in distinct clothing so you could simply tell who was who, the same technique used in Zefirelli’s version where the Capulet’s dressed bright and the Montague’s dark. Romeo and Juliet still did get married, which even seems more unrealistic in 1996 then in the late 1500s. He also didn’t want to change the way the characters played with their swords on the streets, so to update it, and heck, make it even more realistic, replaced the swords with guns.

    I’m sure Luhrman would have received even more criticism if he decided to not add in Shakespeare’s original dialogue for those who think the dialogue seems out of place.

    In conclusion, Zefirelli has a fantastic, true interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, and Luhrman who did not want to create a Zefirelli remake has an interesting and fun imaginative world of how he wanted his version of Romeo and Juliet to be told.

    Sorry for it being late Ms. Cox 😦

  19. Zefirelli vs. Lurhmann
    I thought that both Romeo and Juliet movies were entertaining in there own ways but the one I prefer is the Romeo and Juliet by Zefirelli. The reason for this is because I think that Zefirelli’s version is far more accurate and also I always pictured Romeo and Juliet in the way Zefirelli’ showed it. Not the modern highly probable way Lurhmann directed.
    I really enjoyed how in Zefirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet it showed how I think the Story Romeo and Juliet should be. In the baroque period, with swords instead of guns and the way that the characters in the story matched how they looked in Zefirelli’s version. The movie made a lot more sense since instead of somewhere in Mexico it was located in old baroque style England. The thing that won me over in the Zefirelli version is that instead of laughing at how ridiculous Lurhmann’s version looked in Zefirelli’s version had subtle humor that is more correct since in the tale of Romeo and Juliet is suppose to be a tragedy story. Zefirelli’s movie portrays way better qualities of the play then Lurhmann’s.
    In Conclusion I would highly recommend Zefirelli’s version compared to Lurhmann’s version of the movie. The reason for this is that the movie is by far more accurate and it portrays the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

  20. Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 1

    When viewing both Luhrmann and Zefirelli’s versions, I came to a distinct conclusion. I enjoyed both of the editions of Romeo and Juliet, however, I felt that Luhrmann recreated the better of the two death scenes. Zefirelli definitely had the more realistic, Elizabethan scene, but Luhrmann added creativity into the play. Placing the play in a more modern time with the exception of the dialogue made an abstract movie, which I found incredibly enthralling. He may have slightly overdone the movie in terms of action and violence, but that’s just Hollywood. As for the actual death scene, I found that it had better acting and props to make you actually feel the death of Mercutio instead of just watching it happen. When he said “A plague on both your houses!” I could see the expression behind the words. When it was called upon, I feel that Leonardo DiCaprio expertly expressed Romeo’s grief, first, then later his rage. Luhrmann does not display Shakespeare’s details in the matter of Mercutio’s death, such as the crowd taking Mercutio as just a joker and not realizing that he is mortally wounded until the moment he collapses, and I think that he did that on purpose. I believe that Luhrmann did not try to follow Shakespeare’s script like Zefirelli did. He made the play Romeo and Juliet into his own version with a more modern feel to it.

  21. During class we saw two shakespeare clips showing mercutios death. Both of which were entirely different, one by Zeffirelli and the other by Lurhamann.
    Zeffirelli’s version was actually based on elizibethian time, which was completely appropriate for Shakespeares play “Romeo and Juliet”. However Lurhmann decided to take the play and make it into a modern day version. Although Lurhmann’s version was not based on a Elizebethian time. He Kept the Elizebethian language from the play and made it seem out of place with the modern world. This is the reason why it makes me unlike his version much more then Zeffirelli’s. I also prefered Zeffirelli’s version more because it was much more realistic. The weapons,costumes,language and the setting suited the play. Unlike Lurhmann’s version, the characters were running around a beach with guns. Making it very unrealistic and making me think it was horrible. In the end, Zeffirelli’s version was worth watching more then Lurhmann version.

  22. Wow, I actually get to talk about movies for school. I personally prefer the Zeffirelli version because it stays true to the original play in setting and the way the characters should act in the real world (of that time period). The Lurhmann version I do also like but not for the right reasons. I like it because it is laughably ridiculous. All the characters carry around guns and just whip them out randomly, it’s hilarious how everyone just walks by acting like it’s a normal day. Also I forgot that they can just fire them off randomly and no one is even fazed by it. The Lurhmann version keeps the same dialogue from the play so everybody sounds out of place, the Lurhmann version takes place in the 90’s by the way. I understand that the director was trying to put a modern spin on the classic play but it just makes everything either funny or strange, sometimes I thought the actors was overacting because they knew how stupid it was. The worst thing about it is I think the movie might actually be racist and/or discriminative, but I won’t get into that know. I think that’s enough ripping on Lurhmann though (Benvolio looks like Vanilla Ice) so lets dig into the Zeffirelli version. This version is just way better, the costumes are better (the tights are a little creepy though), the fight scenes are better, the dialogue actually fits, I’ll even go as far as to say the acting is better. That last one’s kind of bias though. It just comes down to the fact that I’d rather see a re-telling than a remake. The actual scene that we watched was so much more enjoyable in Zeffirelli’s version then it was in Lurhmann’s. Zeffirelli makes the fight longer and properly showcases Tybalt as the better fighter, and Mercutio as just a joker. The only thing I like better i the Lurhmann version is when Mercutio actually dies. His last words were just delivered better. Anyway I guess I should rap this up, the Zeffirelli version is better and I don’t like Leo DiCaprio. If you have any questions about my opinion ask me at school or reply to my comment. Just my opinion everybody’s got one.

  23. Act 3 scene 1,
    I personally like the Zefferelli’s version much better. The reasoning of this is because in the Luhrmann’s version it was very modern with cars and phones, the fight was with guns and not swords. In Zefferelli’s version Mercutio was much funnier with bugging the nurse and coming into the scene with a towel over his face screaming, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. When Tyblt came into the scene looking for Romeo in Zefferelli’s version Mercutio steps up and starts ” chirping ” Tyblt until tyblt finally gives in and fights Mercutio, i like how In Zeferellis version the who crowd gets into it and were very rowdy, unlike in the Lurhmann’s version were they are on the beach and none of the crowd is there. The one thing i did like in Lurhmanns version was when Tybalt and Mercutio began to fight the weather changed drastically. Overall Zefferelli’s version i preferred much more, but Lurhmann’s version did have some good topics and ideas.

  24. Romeo and Juliet, Act IV
    If I was in Juliet’s situation I would be willing to follow Friar Laurence’s plans. There are multiple reasons to why I would follow this decision. Since I would have nobody else to trust, the person I would most rely on would be Friar Laurence. Because he is a priest, I know I am capable of trusting him. He devises clever plans to help out with the situation. I also believe he is trustworthy of keeping secrets. There is no reason to kill Juliet with the poison because there would be no benefit for Friar Laurence. His reputation as a priest would decrease. Juliet says, “for he hath still been tried a holy man” (4.3.29). She is referring this to Friar Laurence. If I were in Juliet’s situation, there would be no one else I can trust. By Friar Laurence’s cunning skill in planning he would protect me and my love. If it came to desperate measures and I could not trust the Friar, I would devise my own plan. If I was extremely anxious to be with Romeo, I would transgress the boundaries and would conspire against Paris. Lord and Lady Capulet believe that Paris is the perfect man for Juliet, but she is not interested in him. Being in Juliet’s shoes, I would kill Paris by poisoning him. The way I would accomplish this task is by inserting poison into his drink at the right time during the marriage. To avoid suspicion, I would go to a place such as the bathroom, away from Paris, after giving him his drink. This would make other people think that I had nothing to do with Paris’ death because I wasn’t there at the time it occurred. By killing Paris, it would be long for Lord and Lady Capulet to find another man for Juliet, therefore giving more time for Romeo to return. If for some reason he had not returned, I would write a letter to Romeo and send it to Mantua through Friar if I was not capable of doing so myself.

  25. Caught in a similar situation to Juliet’s, what fears might you express and what solution would you seek?

    If I happened to be caught in a situation like Juliet’s I would make sure that someone else knew what was going on besides Friar Laurence. Juliet says “How if, when I am laid into the tomb, I wake before the time that Romeo Come to redeem me?” (4.3.30-32) Juliet is scared that she will suffocate and die! In this situation I would’ve told the nurse, that way the nurse would’ve known that at certain point the poison will wear off and I would wake from my fake death. I think that I would also be afraid of it instantly killing me. Juliet tells her self that Friar Laurence is a holy man and wouldn’t do such thing but you can never know for sure. It’s a risk that Juliet has to take. I would be scared and a little resentful. I could also see myself feeling bad for doing that to my family and friends even though I am madly in love with Romeo. I might also think about getting the nurse (if I had told her) or Friar Laurence to let Romeo know what’s going on. Juliet is brave and passionate for Romeo but was her risk worth it?

    By Sara Richard

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