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Shakespeare adaptions - Essay Example

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The play Romeo and Juliet depicts a love story topical for every century and historical epoch. In what seems relatively new to filmed Shakespeare, the plays are also being cut loose from the tradition of the historical setting and relocated in the viewer's own milieu…
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Download file to see previous pages Taking into account the works of Zeffirelli and Luhrmann, it is possible to agree with Tatspaugh and her vision of film adaptations and new approaches to the tragedies of love.
Critics underline that modern adaptations of Romeo and Juliet comprise a composite art of story-telling, by which the film maker claims and rewards the attention of his viewers while ensuring that they will be alerted to everything they should know. Alterations may also be justified because of the centuries that stand between Shakespeare and the modern audience. Following Zeffirelli, it is the responsibility of film makers to bridge this gap to the classics and imagine that the author had been able "to write that play today for us" (Zeffirellia 257). So Romeo and Juliet's love-making in the film was appropriately more physical than Shakespeare's circumstances permitted. A movie-maker who seeks a popular audience must also mediate boldly between the original theatrical medium and film: "cinema creates a different chemistry with the audience, a different taste, and the attention of the audience moves so fastfantasy gallops in the audience in movies (Zeffirellia 261)your mind flashes-flashes-flashes" (263).
Dramatization of the timeless conflict between generations allows film maker to attract young audience to the play. Film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet are linked to youth culture and the pedagogical implications of Shakespeare's popularization on film. Popularization has meant the proliferation of representations, on the one hand, and thus an enlargement of what can be legitimately studied as part of the Shakespeare canon. Critics admit that these changes lead to the disappearance of a single, unified Shakespeare whose works. Two reasons make Zeffirelli's success as a "popularizer": costs of filmmaking and power to make audiences laugh and weep. In his approach to Romeo and Juliet, his characteristic accent on youth was of the essence. For his production of the play he chose unusually young principals and cast. Certainly his film draws on similar youth-culture, generation-gap appeals. As he recounts in his Autobiography, the fact that a Hollywood producers teenage son was moved by what he saw of the film in progress was crucial in the producer's decision to fund its completion (Zeffirellib, 228-29). For the most part Zeffirelli seems to let the story tell itself, pausing in places to admire the beauty of the lovers' faces and bodies, but in a compelling away entering into the story's own pace, rhythm, and points of climax, which he emphasizes by lavish use of background music. Deliberately calling attention to a social space, the film makers appropriates Romeo and Juliet as a mirror in which youth might confront the romantic relations and their prevailing social order. Luhrmann attempts to change the "original" staging conditions and portray the play as a modern drama. Romeo and Juliet is no less integrated, but in it the director's hand is less obtrusive. As before he allows his inventiveness several virtuoso displays-the opening brawl, the ball, the duels-all of them handled in his characteristically supercharged, richly textured style. Luhrmann changes emotional gears in mid-course, as he delineates the problems that confront the marriage (Palmer n.d.).
Aspiration toward timeliness, although it helps to attract paying customers, need not lead to a cheapening of the original. The film makers have not succumbed to the too-easy updating that can come with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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