Interpretation of the Balcony Scene by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli of William Shakespreare's Romeo and Juliet
“Romeo and Juliet” is a famous love story written by William
Shakespeare. Two interpretations were made of this text into a film by
the two directors, Baz Luhrmann (1996) and Franco Zeffirelli (1968).
The films use different types of media to portray the characters and
the overall context of Shakespeare’s play. I will be focusing on Act
two Scene ii (the balcony scene) where I will compare how the two
directors use media in the films.
In Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the film we are introduced to a
modern scene which makes it easier ...view middle of the document...
It triggers off when Romeo bumps into the statues
and smashes them on the floor which makes the dogs bark and there is
an addition of rustling leaves, these are some of the sound effects
that have been used, which builds up tension and causes more of a
In action to this, Romeo climbs up the wall that leads to Juliet’s
balcony in order to get to her. The camera shot used is a close up of
Romeo to show his emotional distress that he is feeling. The statues
in this scene represent Juliet as a goddess and that she is very
important, this is a key fact to remember in Romeo’s eyes. This
version is different to the text as Juliet does not say her famous
lines from the balcony, but comes down from her room to the pool
outside, where she recites her lines with passion thinking of her dear
In Zeffirelli’s account of the film, Romeo is shown down below in the
bushes whereas Juliet is the higher and more powerful person out of
the two of them, and she is shown as the higher person sitting on the
balcony. Once again this has been showing the higher and lower and
lower angle shots. It also shows a point of view camera shot
throughout this scene, meaning that the film would be played
throughout the character’s eyes, as if Romeo or Juliet were filming it
themselves. This is done a lot in Franco Zeffirelli’s interpretation
of the film. When Romeo is staring at Juliet at the start an
over-the-shoulder shot would be used to produce a shot from
over-the-shoulder of Romeo, focusing on what he is seeing; Juliet.
When Romeo and Juliet actually meet at the balcony, Romeo has to rush
towards Juliet by climbing the trees’ in order to get to her; again
Romeo is still shown to be looking up at a low angle framing position.
Also, when Romeo is standing in the bushes, a height camera shot can
be used to show the high positioning of the camera to signify the view
of Juliet. When they finally meet confronting each other, Romeo and
Juliet are filmed in an extreme close-up shot where it focuses on
their faces. The area from the lips to the eyes is shown during this
shot and is often used for highly emotional situations to increase
dramatic effect. This shot would show Romeo and Juliet’s adoration and
sexual nature for another. Juliet is wandering around in a dream by
the pool and is wearing her fairy costume from the Capulet party. This
symbolises purity and reveals her innocence of an angel. It is also
worn as it is fitting and it illustrates her great figure. The camera
shows height levels and camera shots of when Juliet is wearing her
angel outfit, so Romeo is looking up to Juliet from a high-angle shot
whereas Juliet looks at Romeo from a low-angle shot.
Instead of wandering around, Juliet is perched upon the balcony
resting her hand on her face and gazing into the air as she...