Essay: Comparing the book and film `Romeo and Juliet`

Sample Essay

Romeo and Juliet is arguably the greatest and most enduring play written during the career of William and Shakespeare. Along with Hamlet, it became one of the popular plays during his lifetime and his still adapted today into various forms of media and has spawned several films as well. Arguably, one of the best adaptations of the play ever made is the one which was made in 1968. A film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starred relatively unknown actors known as Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey.

Though, this film was successful in bringing the play to the big screen and mainstream, winning two academy awards for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design along with nominations for Best Director and Best Actor (Shakespeare, Brusati, D’Amico, & Zeffirelli, 1968). It does not encapsulate the full experience the play itself provides, nor does it fully rend the theatrical power of the play itself. This topic will attempt to show that the play Romeo and Juliet can only adequately represented in its written form as a play and that capturing the play using the film medium does not do justice to it.

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