Directing Romeo and Juliet
Being a director in a production such as Romeo and Juliet is no easy task, and I enter into this paper with that in mind. My goals are to be creative, and do things differently from the many versions of the play we have viewed in class. Each of those directors took the original text, written by William Shakespeare, and turned it into a unique version of their own; unique in the sense that they changed the tragedy by taking out lines, conversation or even entire scenes to better suit that particular director’s needs.
In a more extreme version of the play, directed by Baz ...view middle of the document...
While Romeo and Juliet are seemingly deeply in love, the rest of their families were continually battling it out, with death usually being the end result. How could two lovers keep a relationship together with so much violence and hated without totally abandoning their families? I feel that this is another example that the couple wasn’t deeply in love. This hate is shown with several “battle” scenes between the two families.
A series of “near misses” make the play even more tragic. The largest is of course at the end when the two lovers die together, but another large one could have averted the tragedy allthogether. Friar Lawrence tries to send his message to Romeo in Mantua, but Romeo fails to receive it. “I could not send it,—here it is again,— Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, 20 So fearful were they of infection.” (5,2 67-70) The outcome could have been different had this “near miss” not taken place, but it’s inclusion in the play makes it that much more tragic and interesting. These near misses would be highlighted in my version of the play due to their importance. This would probably be accomplished with dramatic music or special lighting; anything to make these scenes seem more important.
While one would like to be able to present the entire play, that is nearly impossible to do. Time is not on your side and you can easily run a production into several hours. Keeping an audience’s attention that long, is challenging at the best of times. Due to the length of the play, scenes would need to be cut out to reduce it to a reasonable time frame. From the versions of the play we viewed in class, it’s easy to see how the different directors each take a unique approach to what they chose to cut. An example would be in Baz Luhrmann’s film version. Luhrmann chose not to use the scene where Juliet’s nurse was harassed and teased by a group of men, yet that scene was included in one of the clips that we viewed in class. While the scene may not have been of huge significance to the outcome of the play, one director did think it was worth keeping, and did not cut it.
In my version of the play, I would cut the “nurse chase” scene as well. It plays no real significance in the play, other then to throw in a humorous element. While humor is important to engage the audience and keep their attention, there are other aspects of humor in the play, especially from the nurse. She teases Juliet all through the play in many ways and enjoys making jokes of a sexual nature. William Shakespeare uses comic relief such as this throughout the play to lighten the tragedy which the play is based on.
I would also cut the prologue from the play. In my opinion the prologue does little to improve the story. The prologue is used to tell Romeo’s supposed cold, miserable, unanswered love for Rosaline apart from his true, mutual love with Juliet. This is...