Baz Luhrmann has modernized the original text, making it appeal to a 21st Century audience.

Baz Luhrmann has modernized the original text, making it appeal to a 21st Century audience.

When comparing the movie version of Romeo and Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann, and the original Shakespeare text, many differences are evident. Baz Luhrmann has modernized the original text, making it appeal to a 21st Century audience. While the movie version tends to position the audience differently, it persists to echo the spirit and enthusiasm of the original. The movie version foregrounds contrasting values, attitudes and beliefs from those of William Shakespeare’s play (who was writing for a 16th century audience). Baz Luhrmann was directing the movie for modern-day society, and he has chosen to remove certain events from the movie; roles and relationships have also been changed for this same reason. The portrayal of events in the movie has dramatically changed to echo the social and cultural context of modern day. The values, attitudes and beliefs that Baz Luhrmann highlights are a great deal different to those foregrounded by William Shakespeare. One main difference in the play, comparing to the movie, is the amount of respect for her parents by Juliet. In the 16th century (Romeo and Juliet was first written and acted in 1595) the father of the family made all decisions regarding members of the immediate family, and their actions. These decisions were almost never defied, only in very extreme circumstances. The way Baz Luhrmann overcame this problem, was to give Mr. Fulgencio Capulet the personality of an overpowering, controlling corporate figure. This gives him the opportunity to boss his daughter and wife around, usually without defiance. This aspect of domestic violence would be familiar with many viewers, from watching police drama shows on television, such as “The Bill”. Society currently has entirely different attitudes about the age for relationships, and marriage. In William Shakespeare’s time it was appropriate (and quite standard) to marry at the age of 14 or 15, whereas in present times this is illegal. Th…


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