Comparing and Contrasting Shakespeare's Play Romeo and Juliet and the Movie Version
"[. . . E]mblems of mafia gang-land hostility: guns, fast cars, and tattoos [. . .]" (Walker 5) are not the usual images found in a Shakespearean play. Baz Luhrmann's 1996 production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is:
[. . .] told in a setting [. . .] that is modern and yet unfamiliar: a world where the youth might conceivably always go armed; a world where love can still be so thwarted and endangered; where the innocence and passion of the protagonists can be so out of step with the current mood. (Hamilton 3)
The original drama and the 1996 movie production have more differences than similarities that can be seen in comparing them
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. .]" (133). Tybalt's character in the drama and in the film has more similarities than differences. In both, he is portrayed with plenty of hatred toward the Montague family. In the movie, he is seen wearing a devil costume at the Capulet's ball. This costume symbolizes his hatred toward the Montague family. After Tybalt realizes that Romeo is at the Capulet's ball, he is ready "To strike him dead [. . .]" (Shakespeare 1.5). He is enraged when his uncle, Capulet, tells him to be "content [. . .] [and] let him alone [. . .]" (Shakespeare 1.5). Tybalt vows that once the Capulet's ball is over he will have his vengeance on Romeo. In the movie, Tybalt's outrage at the Capulet's ball is seen more vividly than in the play by his violent reaction to Romeo's presence there. However, in the play, the audience cannot truly see the hatred that Tybalt has toward the Montague family. In the movie, Tybalt's character is portrayed more violently as a drug lord or mafia gang leader who has hatred for a family he does not truly know. This hatred that Tybalt has will lead to the destruction of the love between Romeo and Juliet.
Another character that is seen with two different personae in the drama is Capulet. In the play he is seen as "a worthy, noble-minded old man of high rank [. . .]" (Coleridge 135). He shows his authority when he tells Tybalt that Romeo "Shall be endured [. . .]" (Shakespeare 1.5), and he asks Tybalt, "Am I the master here, or you? [. . .]"