March 5

Seek happy nights to happy days.

Tonight please read Act I, scene iii, of Romeo and Juliet and then compare Shakespeare’s text to both the Zeffirelli and Luhrman version we viewed in class today.  What choices did each director make and how did those choices change your understanding of the scene?

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one comment in this thread.

R&J blog #5

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Posted March 5, 2019 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

31 thoughts on “Seek happy nights to happy days.

  1. Myles Ng

    In both versions of Romeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet and the Nurse have different personalities. In the Zeffirelli version Lady Capulet seems more upheld and kinder to Juliet. In the Luhrman version she seems not that caring and sort of into the celebrity side. The Scene seem too fast and sped up compared to the book and Zeffirelli’s version. Another big difference is the nurse’s character. In the Zeffirelli version she seemed more parental to Juliet than in Luhrman’s in which she seemed like she was just another random servant like one of the ones that where moving about in the background. I think the parental characteristic was achieved by keeping in the dirty joke the nurse had made. I think the Zeffirelli version stays more true to the original book and gives it a different feeling than the Luhrman version does.

    1. Kate

      I agree that the joke allowed more of a parental feeling from the nurse allowing us to see that the nurse is a major person in Juliet’s life.

  2. Kate

    There were many similarities and differences between the Zeffirelli, Luhrman and the original play. The Zeffirelli and the original share far more similarities than the Luhrman version. The Luhrman version has a completely different setting as well as characterization. The Zeffirelli and original are both set in Verona, Italy in the 1300’s. The Luhrman version takes place in modern day Miami Florida. These are completely different, but not only are the cities different, it also affects the clothing and houses that Capulet’s and Montague’s are in. In the Zeffirelli version, the Capulet’s live in a castle, but in the Luhrman version they live in a present day mansion. Both versions have different characterization as well. In Zeffirelli’s, Lady Capulet acts extremely more proper and so does Juliet. In Luhrman’s, Lady Capulet acts just like a snobby rich lady, and Juliet seems to be a normal teenager like today. In Zeffirelli’s, the nurse tends to fit her character of being a motherly figure to Juliet as seen in the original play, but in Luhram’s, I would never have known that the nurse was supposed to be motherly if I haven’t read the book. I think this is due to the story the nurse told which gives more background, but Luhrman decided to cut that story. As we can see, both versions are very different, although they both mostly follow the exact script. Obviously, the Zeffirelli version is more fitting to the original as it does fit the setting, a major factor.

  3. Emily

    Both movie versions of the play Romeo and Juliet, are very different than the original text version. One difference I noticed between the two movies is how different all of the characters a re portrayed. In the Zeffirelli version the mother is more affectionate towards Juliet, whereas in the Luhrman version she is distant. I think a similarity between both of them is that they both care about not only their appearance, as we can see by the care they put into their outfits, but also the appearance of the people around them. Although both mothers are very different, one great similarity is that they both want Juliet to get married, so she can keep up the standard of society that girls “have to” get married at a young age. Another character who changed in the two versions was the nurse. In the Zeffirelli version, she was a motherly figure who seemed to genuinely care about Juliet, maybe even more than her own mother did. The Luhrman version cast the nurse as a background person who did not seem that important. Overall, both movies were very different and the Zeffirelli version was closer to the novel itself but the Luhrman was more creative.

  4. caseyz

    In both of the movie versions of Romeo and Juliet we watched in class, the mothers are portrayed in very different ways. In the Zeffirelli version, the mother is portrayed as proper and put together, unlike the Luhrman version where she is seen as crazy and unorganized. Although they are very different, They both want the same for Juliet, for here to fall in love with Paris at Capulet’s Party. In both movies Juliets says “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye, Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.” This shows that Juliet will not be looking to fall in love at the party, but she will still follow her mother’s orders and go to the party to see if she ‘just happens’ to fall in love with someone. This scene was important to be kept in both movies because it shows a lot about Juliet’s character. This scene shows that Juliet is stubborn enough to tell her mother that she will not fall in love, yet obedient enough to still go to the party and look.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree completely that Lady Capulet was seen in different ways by the directors in each of the movies. They are the same person and have the same lines but it is as if they are not the same person.

    2. josepha4

      Yeah It’s interesting that some parts were cut from the other version but Juliet’s answer to her mother stays completely unchanged.

  5. Emma Garbowitz

    The three different versions of Romeo and Juliet have both similarities and differences between each other. However, the most similar between the two have to be the original play and the Zeffirelli version. They are both set in the old, fair town of Verona where the people are dressed in “old-timey” clothing and talk in an odd form of English. Although the newer version by Luhrman is set in a completely different setting (Miami Florida), the characters all talk in the same speech as the other two versions (which is unorthodox considering the setting is during this time period and people don’t talk like that). This is a very interesting choice the director, Luhrman, made in his version of Romeo and Juliet. He basically combined Shakespeare’s language with a modern twist of the play. He cut some lines out and portrayed the characters in completely different ways. First of all, all the people are wearing completely different clothing compared to the clothing in the other two versions. They have a much more modern, “biker gang” look to their outfits rather then old, baggy clothing that people in the 1300s wore. However, there are some specific characters Luhrman portrayed differently as well. One key example is Lady Capulet. In the original play and Zeffirelli’s version she is a very rich, proper lady that attempts to be as polite as possible. In these versions you can clearly see how she really does care for Juliet. However Luhrman portrays her as a snobby, rude lady who seems very arrogant. She seems to think nothing of Juliet and acted disrespectful towards her. Furthermore, in all three versions of the play Juliet is portrayed similarly. She is a quiet kid who doesn’t say much. She seems to keep to herself and is obedient towards her mother. But, in the Luhrman version he does portray Juliet more like a teenager than in the other versions.
    Personally, out of the two movies I enjoyed watching the Zeffirelli version the best. It allows me to truly picture what Shakespeare is trying to portray rather than a more modern spin on his work. It allows me to comprehend the scenes better and see how the setting was meant to be pictured.

    1. Mikayla Friedman

      Although I didn’t see the movies today, I did read the scene, and I can picture the way you describes both movies. Since I saw the beginning of both versions, I can see why you like the Zeffirelli version better, I think I would too. I wonder why Luhrman chooses to portray Lady Capulet as snobby when I didn’t think that her character was like that at all, based on the book.

  6. josepha4

    In the two versions of Romeo and Juliet directed by Zeffirelli and Luhrman there are many obvious differences. For instance, in Luhrmans take on the play the setting is in modern day Miami Florida and instead of living in castles they live in a mansion. Zeffirelli took more of the conventional route and kept the setting similar As described in the play. The Montague’s and Capulet’s live in castles and the time period is more appropriate. The characters are also dramatically different. In Zeffirelli’s version the mother is a fair and proper lady. However, in Luhrman’s version Lady Capulet is shown to be very snobbish and uncultured. I personally, think that Zeffirelli’s version is better because it stays true to the original and in my opinion that makes a movie great.

    1. Laila

      I agree with your opinion that the Zeffirelli film is better because it is more like the original story.

  7. Laila

    In both the Zeffirelli and Luhrman versions of Romeo and Juliet, there are major differences, the most important being the fact that the settings and time periods are different. The Zeffirelli film takes place in fourteenth century Italy while the Luhrman version takes place in twentieth century Miami. Due to these differences, there is also a difference in personality traits in each character. Many of these large differences were reflected in Act I scene iii. One character that changed the most between both versions of the play was Lady Capulet. In the Zeffirelli version, Lady Capulet seems to be very formal, serious, and well put together. In class, we described her as polished which seems to be a good term to use to describe her due to her ladylikeness. In the Luhrman version, Lady Capulet almost seems like a completely different character. She is sloppy, unorganized and most differently, very aggressive. Even her appearance says a lot about her character in this film, for she was wearing a pound of makeup and a pink fuzzy robe. Also, in the Zeffirelli film, Lady Capulet is pushing for Juliet to be married while in the Luhrman version, marriage isn’t even mentioned. I believe Luhrman gave such changes in his characters and plot to help modernize the story.

    1. Hannah McK

      I totally agree. I love the way you compare Lady Capulet in both of these versions and how different they are. Good job!!

  8. johnh1

    The original text is different from both movies, and the movies are different from each other. Both movies are different from the original text, however, the Zeffirelli version is closer to it. The only thing that seems different is the shortening of lines. The setting is still in old Italy and the characters fit with how they would be in the book. The Luhrman version is very different with Lady Capulet not fitting how she would be. She talks fast and acts strangely. It seems like the scene was too short for what they had to fit in. The scenery is, of course, not like old italy and entire sections of dialogue are cut.

  9. Hannah McK

    Both movies by Zeferelli and Luhrman are in some way, different than the actual text of Romeo and Juliet. In the movie by Zeferelli, although it is the most similar to the actual text and he setting makes it even more like the text it still had some lines that are shortened quite a bit which takes away from the readers understanding of the scene. In the Luhrman movie it is very different. I’d like to call it more modern. The way Lady Capulet acts is far different from what we read in the book. In this movie she is loud jumpy and giddy. In the Zimerelli version she is polished as one classmate said. Something all three of these (the book, and two movies) have in common is that they portray the nurse in a way in which she’s like a mother to Juliet. After reading and watching the scenes we see the nurse has been with Lady Capulet and Juliet for a long time for she knows every memory from when she was a baby.

  10. Madi R.

    Shakespeare’s play is different yet similar to both of the movie versions of Romeo and Juliet. Zeffirelli’s movie is more similar to Shakespeare’s play. Zeffirelli ‘s setting is in Italy and the actors are teenagers. This was a bold directing move because normally, at the time, movies had adults who played children or teenagers. Luhrman’s movie has many differences when compared to Shakespeare’s play. It takes place in a city and is more modern. In both versions, the different families wear colors so the viewers can tell which house they are from. In the two different versions the characters are portrayed differently as well. In Zeffirelli’s movie Juliet’s mother is formal and proper. In contrast, in Luhrman’s movie Juliet’s mother is snobbish and uncivilized.

  11. maxwellw

    This scene helps introduce Juliet and explores the theme of youth versus old age and the difference in attitudes between The Nurse, Lady Capulet, and Juliet towards love and marriage. The Nurse’s uninhibited attitude towards sex is contrasted with Lady Capulet’s reserved discussion of Juliet’s proposed marriage to Paris. The Nurse is a comic character who is a foil for Juliet, contrasting Juliet’s youthful innocence with the Nurse’s older, coarser outlook on life. The Nurse’s reminiscence about Juliet’s being weaned and learning to walk also anticipates Juliet’s move towards maturity.

  12. Brishti

    Both movies are different from both the original text and each other. Although both movies were somewhat different, the Zeffirelli version is more true to the original text. One difference that is very prominent is the way Lady Capulet is portrayed. In the Zefferelli version, Lady Capulet is seen as more ladylike and proper, and more attentive towards Juliet. In the Luhrman version, Lady Capulet is seen to be less proper and more like a celebrity rather than a Lady. They are similar in that they both care about their looks. Another major difference is the role of the Nurse. The nurse in the Zefferelli version is much more of a mother figure than the nurse in the Luhrman version. Juliet and the nurse seem to have a much more close relationship in the Zefferelli version.

  13. angelicac1

    Both movies by Zeffirelli and Luhrman were unique and interesting in their own ways, but I believe that the Zeffirelli version did a better job at staying true to Shakepeare’s vision. For Act I, scene iii, Juliet and Lady Capulet were portrayed differently in each movie. For example, in Zeffirelli’s version Lady Capulet was much more proper and sophisticated, dressed in formal attire while in Luhrman’s version it was quite the opposite. She wore a robe while smoking a cigarette and instead of dressing up in lavish attire, Lady Capulet got dressed into an odd Egyptian costume. The way Lady Capulet acted was odd as well. She wasn’t lady-like at all and instead she was frantic and acted crazily. In Zeffirelli’s version, Juliet was much more respectable and she was dressed in appropriate attire that was similar to her mother’s. In Luhrman’s version, Juliet was presented with wet hair and she wore a robe, but she was still respectful.

    1. trinityt

      I agreed that the Zefferelli version is more like the original text of Romeo and Juliet based on the characters of Lady Capulet, the Nurse, and Juliet, and how they acted and how they were dressed.

      1. Zoe

        I didn’t think about the different ways Lady Capulet dressed in each movie. The nurse and Juliet seemed to dress pretty similarly, but Lady Capulet was created in two completely different ways. Great analysis!

    2. Sunna

      I agree with this and I find it very interesting that, even though two movies off of the same play, they both take such different routes as to how the characters should dress and behave. Even if it’s the same character, the two versions of that character could be so different from one another, as well as their original versions.

  14. Maddie

    In act I, scene iii of Romeo and Juliet, we meet Lady Capulet and the nurse. Lady Capulet asks Juliet how she feels about getting married. She says that she doesn’t want to get married just yet. The Zeffirelli version is very similar to the play version in that the lines are relatively the same. Also, the time frame that the movie takes place is closer to the time that the play took place. It is more realistic that people from medieval times would use the language that Shakespeare used in the play as well. The Luhrman version is more modern and new. It is less realistic because it takes place in Miami, and in the 90’s. Another difference is the personalities of Lady Capulet in each movie. In the Zeffirelli version, Lady Capulet is proper and gentle. However, in the Luhrman version, Lady Capulet is loud, outgoing, and slightly rude. I think that the Zeffirelli version is better overall and gives watchers a better understanding of Shakespeare’s play.

  15. trinityt

    Both movies are different from each other and the original text. In the Zefferelli version, Lady Capulet seems proper and ladylike, and thoughtful towards her daughter, Juliet. In the Luhrman version, Lady Capulet is less proper and act more like a celebrity, and she is not very attentive towards Juliet. Another difference is the role of the Nurse. In the Zefferelli version, the Nurse is close to Juliet and she’s like a mother-figure to Juliet. In the Luhrman version, the Nurse doesn’t seem that close to Juliet and isn’t a lot like a mother-figure to her. The Zefferelli version is more like the original text.

  16. Zoe

    The script that Shakespeare wrote for scene iii was created in the two movies in very different ways. The biggest differences between the two scenes in the movies were the ways they created Lady Capulet and the speed in which they gave their information. The way Zeffirelli created his scene with the nurse, Juliet, and Lady Capulet included almost all of the lines in Shakespeares scene. It went a lot slower than Luhrman’s version and it created Lady Capulet as a very proper, polished woman who was respected and polite like a queen would be. This is why Zeffirelli’s version is most alike Shakespeare’s. Luhrmann’s version, on the other hand, is very fast and creates Lady Capulet as a greedy, annoying monster of a wife and mother. She seems very self-centered about herself and worries more about how she looks instead of about Juliet. The two versions are clearly different from each other in many ways, but both create a version of Romeo and Juliet that’s entertaining for the audience.

  17. Sophie

    In both the Zeffirelli and Luhrman version of Romeo and Juliet, there were differences from the book that helped me understand the plot better. For example, the characterization of the Lady Capulet and the nurse. Lady Capulet definitely had a sense of style. In the Zeffirelli version, her appearance perfectly matched up to an outfit that a woman of higher class back then might wear. The Zeffirelli version helped me gain knowledge about the time period and what was considered fashionable during Shakespeare’s time. On the other hand, since the Luhrman version is much more modern it gave me a totally different perspective. I definitely prefer Zeffirelli’s more, because the Luhrman version seemed almost like a parody. It was zooming in and out very quickly, speeding up scenes, and often having bold letter introductory. Also, the way Lady Capulet was dressed was very Egyptian like. That confused me because I didn’t see anybody else dressed like that, and I thought that this version was supposed to be modern Miami times.
    The nurse contributed in a very important way because she was very different in each movie. In the first movie, she is super peppy and happy and talkative. She cracks jokes of adult humor and rambles about how excited she is for Juliet to be courted. The nurse definitely brings joy and almost innocence in a way. It makes you smile watching her act almost child like. The giddy excitement you would see as if you offering cookies to a five year old. However, during the Luhrman version, I did not feel the same happiness from the new nurse as I felt from the old nurse. Luhrman cut out a major amount of her lines (such as the jokes), and she didn’t really have much of a personality.

  18. stephaniec

    From the original written version of Romeo and Juliet, to the Zeffirelli movie, to the Luhrman movie, there were many similarities and differences. Scene iii of Romeo and Juliet and the Zeffirelli movie were very similar to each other, as opposed to the Luhrman movie. For instance, Lady Capulet was proper and distant towards Juliet. In addition, the nurse had a personal connection with Juliet in both. She was almost the opposite of Lady Capulet and expressed her love for Juliet very proudly. However, in the Luhrmann movie the mother seemed very immature and self-centered. Meanwhile, the nurse seemed more like a helper, rather than a mother figure.

  19. Hannah Pitkofsky

    In the Shakespeare version of Romeo and Juliet, as well as the film versions, the characters of Lady Capulet and the Nurse were portrayed in different ways. In Shakespeare’s original writing, Lady Capulet was a proper lady trying to control her daughter. Similarly, in the Zeffirelli version, we see Lady Capulet wearing fancy garments and calmly trying to express to her daughter that Paris wished to marry her. On the other hand, in the Lerhman version, Lady Capulet is a mess trying to prepare herself for the party and screams at the Nurse to find Juliet while she is getting ready. In all three versions, however, the Nurse is portrayed in similar ways, however, the environments she is in changes how she responds to different situations, making her character unique in each version she is placed in.


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