Films from Literature ENG 2400

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  • #69446

    Prof. Masiello
    Participant

    Romeo and Juliet Death Count

    a) Why do you suppose the 1968 film version of Shakespeare’s play has fewer deaths than in the original story?

    It was not due to budget, time, or censorship, so why are certain dead characters in the play still alive in the film?

    (By the way, it seems most or all of the other versions also omit certain deaths. It wasn’t just director
    Franco Zeffirelli’s decision though his version may have influenced the subsequent ones.)

    b) Please post your theories and whether or not you feel the fewer deaths is an improvement or not over the original play.

    #69609

    Anderson Uribe
    Participant

    Referring specifically to the deaths of Paris and Lady Montague in the play, which are not in the 1968 film, one can consider these deaths as both improvements and detriments to the story. Paris’ death at the hand of Romeo was reasonable in the play, as he tried to stop the exiled Romeo from apparently desecrating the tomb of Juliet, whom Paris was to marry, and Tybalt, who might have become a family member to him. This event arouses some emotional relevance to Paris from the reader, who appears little in the writing. His death is tragic, as he is shown caring about Juliet’s death. It also concludes his involvement in the story.

    The play describes the effect Tybalt’s end had on the Capulet family. However, his death leads to Romeo’s exile, which emotional effect in the Montague family is barely explored. I see the death of Lady Montague, caused by emotional pain from Romeo’s exile, as the only real indication of the turmoil that occurred within his family.

    Considering these reasons, one can argue that the film needed to have these deaths. They would improve the connections between the characters and strengthen the story. On the other hand, I did not feel the continuing existence of Lady Montague and Paris to be a problem. As mentioned, Paris only has a small part to play in the story. He is simply a source of conflict for the characters to overcome. Once this is established, it is easy to dismiss him. Similarly, Lady Montague is rarely seen in the story. Her death would certainly be less relevant than Paris’. In addition, she is seen with Lady Capulet walking towards the camera at the end, which strengthens the message that the two families are coming forward together, as equals. I believe the fewer deaths simplify the film, making it easier to focus on the main plot line.

    #69618

    Prof. Masiello
    Participant

    Anderson,

    Your response is well explained.

    It would seem the death of Paris may have created too much sympathy for him and made Romeo seem to be a fighter, not a lover.

    #69646

    afrina nishat
    Participant

    There are a lot of differences between the film and the play about Romeo and Juliet. One of the most notable difference is the deaths. In the film directors have to remove less important thing and simplify the film for focusing the main characters and happening. That is why 1968 version film director keeps less death in the film. In the play 6 featured characters were shown dead but Count Paris death scene omitted from the film versions. Mercutio, Tybalt, Lady Montague, Count Paris, Romeo and Juliet were death in the tragedy play. Mercutio stabbed from under Romeo’s arm by Tybalt which was view as accidental, since Tybalt have been trying to kill Romeo. Tybalt stabbed by Romeo. Lady Montague getting heart attack when she heard her son death news. Count Paris stabbed by Romeo. Romeo took poison when he saw Juliet to be dead. At last Juliet stabbed herself when she found Romeos dead body.

    #69669

    diana
    Participant

    a) Why do you suppose the 1968 film version of Shakespeare’s play has fewer deaths than in the original s?
    It was not due to budget, time, or censorship, so why are certain dead characters in the play still alive in the film?
    I suppose the 1968 film version of Shakespeare’s play has fewer deaths than the original because these character that didn’t die, had a purpose throughout the film, sooner or later they were going to need those character or not. However, Franco Zeffirelli’s decision though his version may have influenced the subsequent ones
    (By the way, it seems most, or all of the other versions also omit certain deaths. It was not just director
    Franco Zeffirelli’s decision though his version may have influenced the subsequent ones because despite their love, they are both caught up in the conflict and the film was produced in 1968 besides the families, lifestyle, practices and acts as portrayed in the play and not adopt a modern version of events as many of the subsequent of the director makes every effort that intended by Shakespeare.

    #69676

    Christopher Lobato
    Participant

    Likely the exclusion of both of Paris and Lady Montague’s deaths in the film were to make the ending much less tragic for audiences at the time of the film’s release. As you mentioned previously, even the movie poster emphasizes the couple and gives less attention to the period. This version of the film also features a younger casting for Romeo and Juliet, so it becomes apparent that the film intended to also draw in younger audiences. Most of the deaths in the play also occur in the final act, with lady Montague’s death not shown physically but mentioned in act V of the play. Therefore if Paris and Lady Montague’s deaths were a part of the film, it would have been perhaps too overwhelming since so many deaths would have occurred close to each other in sequence because the main focus of the film was to create a love story. As a result, it could have also removed some of the impact of Romeo and Juliet’s death because they happen one right after the other.

    I also agree with the idea that the inclusion of Paris and Lady Montague’s deaths would have much more blame on Romeo and therefore portray him as a horrible person. Paris is not a large part of the film, so the inclusion of his fight with Romeo would have seemed nonsensical and felt like more unnecessary violence. Throughout the film, there is a lot of attention given to the fact that Romeo is against violence. The film makes this apparent from the beginning when we see him walk down the street with a flower of some sort, followed by serene music. Therefore the inclusion of his decision to fight Paris would have seemed contradictory(albeit in the play he does try to persuade Paris not to fight). Lady Montague’s death is a result of her grief due to Romeo’s exile, and her death shows the love and care she felt for her son. However, her death brings attention to Romeo’s naivety and selfishness since we begin to realize his immaturity is the cause of his death and those around him(he seeks vengeance for Mercutio without much thought). However, the movie blames Romeo and Juliet’s death almost entirely on the families, as we can see with the way they all mourn together after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet and the focus on Prince’s speech. Ultimately the changes make Romeo seem perfect and make his death more tragic.

    Overall, I think the changes made to the play make for a better love story because it is less tragic and focuses more on the love aspects. Perhaps a fight with Paris would have been dramatic and would have served as another example of Romeo’s dedication to being with Juliet. However, I liked seeing Romeo breaking the door, racing into the tomb, and almost immediately seeing Juliet. Unlike Mercutio and Tybalt’s deaths, Paris and Lady Montague’s death have little effect on the characters, so their exclusion is admissible.

    #69682

    Prof. Masiello
    Participant

    Christopher,

    You expressed your thought so eloquently. I hope many of your classmates read what you said. I could not have stated these ideas any better than you just did.

    Thanks!

    #69755

    Jabir Alam
    Participant

    There have been so many changes made from the play to the 1968’s Movie version of the “ Romeo and Juliet ” . The directors and writers have made many changes throughout the movie such as , the lines , the setting , even the death of the characters . The movie Romeo and Juliet has much fewer deaths that the original play itself . Franco Zeffirelli might have made changes in the storyline because according to his perspective some of the character who actually died in the original play might have some purposes to get the story to an even more interesting ending ,. This also come to the conclusion as the time passes the director adds something new to the movie such as the setting , change in behavior or the character and many more , which makes the story more interesting for the viewers .

    #69805

    Ajay
    Participant

    a) Why do you suppose the 1968 film version of Shakespeare’s play has fewer deaths than in the original story?

    I suppose the 1968 film version of Shakespeare’s plays has fewer deaths than in the original play because Romeo and Juliet are formally named a misfortune, yet in certain regards the play strays from the appalling classification. Another significant way Romeo and Juliet goes improper from other Shakespearean misfortunes is that the fundamental characters. The film which forms the cornerstone of the romances and has been hailed as the classic love story of Westen Literature, fears no less than six bloody ends, all named characters with speaking parts, including the two principles, and all of them on stage and in full view of the audience. If this is love, it seems to be as deadly a business as any battle.

    It was not due to budget, time, or censorship, so why are certain dead characters in the play still alive in the film?

    There are certain dead characters in the play still alive in the film because as the film modernizes the original play, it naturally had to find a new way to present the role usually fulfilled by other characters such as in the opening of the films. This is a clever way done by having a news anchor read these lines, presenting the film lines as if it were news to report in a play. This means characters ends in the film very much alive, while Romeo and Juliet are provided with that cruel twist ending, we are all too familiar with. The film has a dramatic effect and changes this. Instead of the dramatic, heartbreakingly unfulfilled and brutal ending of the original that makes it so unique.

    (By the way, it seems most or all of the other versions also omit certain deaths. It wasn’t just director
    Franco Zeffirelli’s decision though his version may have influenced the subsequent ones.)

    b) Please post your theories and whether or not you feel the fewer deaths is an improvement or not over the original play.

    I feel that fewer deaths are an improvement over the original play because you must remember, the audience understands a tragedy usually ends in the deaths of many of the main characters; therefore, I would argue that the enjoyment of the play and the films is copied from an exploration of a set of themes that require the audience’s understanding of the direction the play and the films is moving in, in order to allow for emphasis to be placed on these themes rather than the plot. The enjoyment of the play or movie does not come from learning that everyone dies in the end. If Shakespeare had depended on surprise for his plays or films to be enjoyable, you would never have heard of him. People would see the play or film once and get the full effect, and then there would be no point in going again.

    #69828

    Josue Manzueta
    Participant

    I believe that the the 1968 film has much fewer deaths than the original story because the director because of the audience the director intended to capture. As he incorporated younger characters in this film he made the film less tragic than the original story. Moreover the director may have incorporated less deaths in the 1968 film because he wanted to focus on the love story. I also agree with the idea brought up by my classmates of Paris and Lady Montague continuing to be in the film helped the audience focus more on Romeo’s love story rather than his conflict with Paris. I believe this was an improvement because the changes helped the audience change their perception on Romeo as we did not get to see his selfish side after Lady Montague died and we did not view Romeo as a fighter since he never fought with Paris. Overall these changes were made to capture a younger audience and focus the film on being a true love story with fewer tragedies.

    #69841

    Virginia Sanchez
    Participant

    In the play, the characters Lady Montague, Mercutio, Tybalt, Paris, Romeo, and Juliet die. However, in the film Lady Montague and Paris do not die as we see Lady Montague at the end of the film staring at the dead lover’s corpses and Paris earlier. In the play, Lady Montague dies of a broken heart upon hearing her son has been exiled for killing Tybalt while Paris dies fighting Romeo in Juliet’s tomb. Personally, I feel Lady Montague’s death in the play is a bit random. I understand she was sad to lose her son in that way but the way it was told to the reader through Montague feels odd as most characters die in dramatic ways saying dramatic things. I believe having Lady Montague live in the film didn’t feel odd or misplaced. However, the omission of Paris’s death was disappointing. The scene in the play was tragic, I believe it would have made the film more exciting than it already was.

    #69967

    Salina Shrestha
    Participant

    Aside for time, I feel fewer deaths meant to put more emphasis on Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. It was more for dramatic effect and made the the audience feel more sympathetic towards Romeo and Juliet. I feel like cutting out the deaths from the films were effective because that helped some of the character’s morals and overall image. For example, in the play Romeo ends up killing Paris, but in the film, that never happens. This helped Romeo not seem like a murderer and if he did kill Paris, the viewers would have mixed emotions about his character.

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