Interpretations of scene in Juliet's room

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The scene is set in Juliet’s bedroom where we have two interpretations upon the decoration. Baz Luhrman interprets the room as light with a spacious bed and shelves of dolls, creating her personal space. Franco Zefferelli, on the other hand, creates white walls with religiously related pictures on the walls and flowers.

The room is her personal space and should have a slight representation to the person she is. Drama and tension is immediately created as you see the contrast between two moments, the first being love and warmth when Romeo and Juliet spend their only night together. There is then a sudden change to an adult world of arranged marriages, arguing, angry voice tones and dim orchestral music to assist in creating tension. The audience jumps to sympathise with Juliet.

Shakespeare achieves drama and tension through the conflict between Juliet and her parents, the first example being conflict within language. Many of the words delivered by Juliet have a double meaning that we have the ability to understand. For example ‘ madam I am not well’. She is not well because Romeo has gone but Lady Capulet believes it to be due to Tybalt’s death. This is (explained as) dramatic irony because the audience knows something that the players do not. There is drama in Juliet’s reaction after her mother has told her that she is to have an arranged marriage.

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There is dismay at her fathers plan. She is very angry and begins to answer her parents back. ‘ I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet’. Juliet is then wound up further when Lady Capulet replies ‘ here comes your father; tell him yourself’. She is refusing to help her daughter.The entrance of Lord Capulet then heightens drama. His vocal tone begins with barely any anger but then rapidly mounts. After Lady Capulet delivers the line ‘ ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks. I would the fool were married to her grave’. This is (like) rejection because she wishes Juliet was dead. Lord Caplets sentences are very short and snappy and he begins to ask a string of questions ‘will she none?’, ‘ Is she not proud?’ and many more. He suggests her to be unworthy. He then begins to grow abusive and talks about Juliet as if she is a horse to be tamed. Lord Capulet promotes more abuse ‘how now, how now?Chop-logic! What is this?’ ‘Proud’ and ‘I thank you’, and ‘ I thank you not’; and yet ‘not proud’? Mistress minion, you, thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds, but fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next, to go with Paris to St Peters church, or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!’. He is being so cruel, so much so lady Capulet suggests he has gone too far. He then takes a turn to be sarcastic towards the nurse. He delivers an ultimatum ‘marry or be disinherited’. At the time this would have a dramatic impact, as you were suppose to be faithful to your family and obey your father.Tension is maintained after Lord Capulet leaves. Juliet begins appealing, first, to her mother ‘delay this marriage for a month, a week’, but Lady Capulet refuses to help. So therefore Juliet turns to her nurse asking ‘how shall this be prevented?’ and suggesting that only by Romeo’s death can she sincerely take a vow and marry Paris, but again she is abandoned. This seems worse in the nurse’s case because she knows the whole truth. Juliet is shocked when she realises what the nurse means when she says ‘for it excels you first: or if it did not, your first is dead or t’were as good he were, as living here and you have no use of him’. Juliet is shocked and can’t believe what she has heard. Scene 5 ends with Juliet’s desperate words of defiance and leads forward to the next scene at Friar Lawrence’s cell.The tension in the words is reinforced by the actions of the characters and there is plenty of scope to explore this on the stage. The three characters not only abandon Juliet in words, but also in action as they all physically leave the room. Capulet’s entrance is dramatic, and so it should be. He is the master of the household and should therefore show some authority; it is a man’s world in Verona. The intervention of the nurse also adds drama. There is plenty of scope for physical contact or lack of it. For example in line 203, Lady Capulet says ‘ talk to me, for I’ll not speak a word’. At the end of the scene there will no doubt be sympathy from the audience towards Juliet because she is so grief stricken and suggests suicide. It’s clever how the events take place in Juliet’s bedroom- her territory, so the characters do not have much choice other than to walk out on her.Both film interpretations aim for a realistic portrayal. Firstly look at the film by Baz Luhrman. This is set in a more modern day environment. As in the script the scene is set in Juliet’s bedroom. Due to the time of day the lighting is quite bright but becomes dull upon rejection. Colours used are fairly plain but the characters clothing has a (rather) modern look.Orchestral music is used to create extra tension. Most camera shots are close face shots and follow shots to help you concentrate upon a single character. From what I have studied nothing important has been left out except not every line is word for word. In my opinion the characters are believable and are easy to differentiate between. I think that this interpretation is extremely faithful to Shakespeare because not only is there a modern feel, the play is much easier to understand for the generations of today, making Shakespeare’s work more popular.The second interpretation is by Franco Zefferelli. Again the bedroom setting is seen but in a more plain, old fashioned, religious setting. The lighting is very bright. Their clothes are very plain. Black and white with hair off faces. There is no music but many sounds of crying and crashing about the room. Once again there are close camera shots when talking. The characters are believable. In faithfulness to Shakespeare the film scores highly but misses out a number of lines. My preference is Baz Luhrman as this has helped me to understand the story of Romeo and Juliet much more thoroughly.

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