Sex and Violence in Romeo and Juliet Essay

1858 Words Mar 15th, 2011 8 Pages
With Love, Comes Great Violence

“I fear this but a dream, too sweet to be substantial,” are the soft words uttered from star-crossed lovers caught in the chaotic instability that permeates Franco Zeffirilli’s Romeo and Juliet (1968), Baz Lurman’s Romeo + Juliet (1996), and John Madden’s Shakespear and Love (1998). Although there are significant differences in each movie’s portrayal of Juliet and her Romeo, they accurately depict Freud’s ideas concerning love and human tendencies. In “The Einstein-Freud Correspondence,” Freud explains that in nature, violence rules everywhere. Einstein questions mankind’s lust for destruction and Freud affirms that man has two basic instincts: sex and violence. The constant state of instability and
…show more content…
His use of color and chaos is perfectly representative of Freud’s ideas concerning constant instability. Not only that, but his choice in music creates dramatic setting. The movie itself has numerous speed-up moments but is slowed down in critical scenes to allow viewers to soak up every bit of information. For example, the fight scene is particularly profound. Tasteful music backs the thunder, clouds, and darkness that envelope the screen as Mercutio dies. It is a perfect example of nature coming in and playing a role in the movie. Lurhman does an amazing job with his timing because he allows the viewer to slow down and soak every drop of the scene. One of the most important misreadings of Romeo + Juliet occurs during Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech. Normally interpreted as the drunken improvisation of a jesting wit in relation to dreams, here Mercutio is speaking about the drug ecstasy. Playing to modern times, Lurhman has Romeo take the ecstasy before heading to the Capulet ball. The meeting scene between Romeo and Juliet is thus overshadowed by the fact that Romeo has just taken a drug that inspires enormous amounts of pleasure. Consequently, the implication is that the relationship is founded on artificial feelings. One could argue that Romeo washes away the effects of the drugs in the sink prior to the Juliet-aquarium meeting, but ecstasy does not wear off that easily. True, the rest of the movie holds fast to the love tragedy that is Romeo and

Related Documents