In this assignment I will be comparing how Act 3 Scene 5, of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, is portrayed by Channel 4 Middle English schools version and Baz Luhrmann’s film version. Both of the versions use Shakespeare’s language but they choose to leave out different sections of the original play. The main events of Act 3 Scene 5 are that Romeo leaves Juliet’s house, Juliet is told by her mother that she is to get married to Paris at St. Paul’s on Thursday, but then Juliet argues with her mother.
This causes a lot of tension between the family and she goes on to row with her father. The Channel 4 version is set out in a room that is dark and spacious, there are many wood furnishings and these look very expensive. There’s a very traditional feel to this Channel 4 version with candles showing the only source of light, this shows when the scene was set back in Elizabethan times when there was no electricity.
Luhrman’s version differs to the Channel 4 version in a big way because many things are the opposite, everything is all modernised, very light and spacious.
The room is white and very luxurious with a large array of decoration, toys and dolls. The costume is in a traditional Elizabethan style in the Channel 4 version; Lady Capulet’s dress is dark and her hair is back showing he plain forehead, which is a sign of beauty back in that time.
Juliet’s hair is long and curly and is put down loose, she is shown in a white dress, which makes Juliet look more innocent and pure like a young girl. Juliet acts a lot older in the channel 4 version.
In Baz Luhrman’s version she is also shown as wearing white but in a much more modern dressing gown. In Baz Luhrman’s version, Lady Capulet has a rich dressing gown and is more modern than in the channel 4 version which shows Lady Capulet in a traditional Elizabethan costume. In both versions of the play they use Shakespeare’s language, in the Channel 4 version this is expected because of how the play is set out with it been more traditional and realistic look, but in Baz Luhrman’s version it isn’t expected because of the modernisation of the scene.
So using language they use blank verse with ten stresses per line another word for this is iambic pentameter, this means no rhythm and imitates the rhythms of natural speech. In Channel 4’s version the stage is set with heavy wood furniture with a very dark wood colour, all the persons in this play are rich Elizabethan noble people. In Baz Luhrman’s version it is very different as everything is virtually modernised. All things are white and beautiful and the furniture stands out as if everything is all wonderful.
There is much more movement in this play unlike the Channel 4 version where everything is all static. Lord Capulet is dressed like a true noble man, he has rich tapestry but it is modern. In both plays Juliet is shown in white but looks more modern in Baz Luhrman’s version and also in Baz Luhrman’s version she looks a lot younger. The movement is Channel 4 is very wooden and static, whereas it is much more fluent in Baz Luhrman’s version, much livelier and believable.
There is much more use of the camera in Baz Luhrman’s, which does close ups on the characters faces and shows the anger or sadness in there face and makes you feel how they feel. In the play Juliet gets into a big argument with her father and this is shown in two different ways in the Channel 4 version the rage on her fathers face, because she says she won’t marry Paris, isn’t realistic and the actor doesn’t look like he’s putting much effort in to it.
But in Baz Luhrman’s version the anger from Lord Capulet and the fear in Juliet’s face is intense and makes this whole fiasco look like it’s going to blow over and maybe a fight may come, especially when Capulet says how his ‘fingers itch’ and that he may smack his daughter. I prefer Baz Luhrman’s version of the play, mainly because it has a much more thrilling touch to it than the Channel 4 version. Baz Luhrman has set out to make this play a much more of a box office record breaker and with his budget he could do this, by hiring actor’s that had already starred in big movies.
Luhrman’s version had a mixture of genres in it, parts had humour in when the nurse walks in to find Romeo in bed with Juliet which starts Romeo scampering around to search for his clothes, parts had drama when Juliet’s nurse says she isn’t going to help. The Channel 4 version of this scene wasn’t any good because they will have been on a lower budget and setting the scene and all the furniture would have to be cheap and not very effective.