Term Paper: Play Romeo and Juliet

Pages: 5 (1421 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Film  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The gang sequences don't really work absent the original play's swordplay. Even more disappointing is the lack of passion between Romeo and Juliet. It almost appears that Romeo and Juliet sort of like each other. This is partly because DiCaprio and Danes have difficulty saying their lines and, therefore, conveying the feelings underneath them. However, just as the play, the movie is a tragedy and the deaths at the end of the movie are just as sorrowful.

Shakespeare in Love is a portrayal of how William Shakespeare, as a young and struggling playwright, comes up with his famous play Romeo and Juliet while in the midst of a love affair. As Shakespeare falls in love with Viola, the play he is working on, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter, turns into Romeo and Juliet. Like Romeo and Juilet, Shakespeare and Viola are separated by a huge chasm: she is from wealth and her father has just sold her in marriage and he is barely able to make a living. Because females were not allowed to act, Viola assumes the guise of Thomas Kent and takes on the role of Romeo. But Shakespeare learns the real identity of Kent and they carry on their passionate tryst until events that test their relationship come to a head.

Romeo Must Die takes most of its story line from the conventions of Hong Kong action films, as opposed to Shakespeare. In fact, other than the name Romeo in the movie, it's difficult to imagine what this movie has to do with Romeo and Juliet although it's true that there is a family rivalry and that the guy of one family has a close relationship with the girl in the opposing family. The Romeo of the story is Han Sing, a former Hong Kong police officer who is imprisoned for crimes committed under the rule of his father, Chu Sing. Back at home in the San Francisco Bay area, the Sing family is involved in a vicious rival with Isaak O'Day and his black gang surrounding the control of the waterfront area. Upon hearing that the younger brother that he swore to protect has been killed amid the gang wars, Hans escapes from prison.

After his return to the United States, Han hooks up with Isaak's daughter Trish who is certainly no Juliet. Trish has lost her brother in a gang attack and rebels against her father's underworld connections. So, there's a loose connection between Julie's loss of her relative to a rival family and rebellion against her own family. But, Trish creates her own life as the owner of a trendy boutique decorated with red-and-gold dragons and other Asian imagery rather than building a life on her love for Hans as Juliet had based her existence on Romeo.

The script understates the romance in favor of emphasizing the intensity of the war that is going on. Trish and Hans try to discover who killed their loved ones and develop a relationship more akin to a friendship than the passionate love of Romeo and Juliet.

In Romeo Must Die, Hans and Trish fall supposedly completely in love, and yet don't kiss, don't swoon, and don't even evidence a tinge of passion. After the final showdown, the cops arrive on the scene with Trish. Han walks outside the burning building with blood on his hands. But, the two lovers don't passionately embrace in recognition of their undying love; instead they only hesitantly hug each other. Romeo Must Die, unlike, Romeo and Juliet, has a happy ending for the star-crossed lovers as both survive in the end.

In summary, more recent adaptations of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet pale in comparison to West Side Story. Modernization has led to substantial plot deviation and has literally killed the passion found in the original play. Shakespeare in Love exhibits some of the passion and the movie Romeo and Juliet keeps most of the original text of the play, but only West Side Story parallels both plot and passion. Although Maria doesn't die in the end of West Side Story, the work still resembles Romeo and Juliet enough to characterize it as the most… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Play Romeo and Juliet.  (2003, November 25).  Retrieved April 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/play-romeo-juliet-written/8455552

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"Play Romeo and Juliet."  25 November 2003.  Web.  22 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/play-romeo-juliet-written/8455552>.

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"Play Romeo and Juliet."  Essaytown.com.  November 25, 2003.  Accessed April 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/play-romeo-juliet-written/8455552.