Tybalt In Shakespeare's Original Text And Baz Luhrmann's Adaptation

1859 words - 8 pages

Essay ParagraphsIntroduction:When comparing Tybalt's character in Shakespeare's original play of 'Romeo and Juliet' with Baz Luhrmann's adaptation, it is important to look at the setting in which the character lived. A main difference between the way that the play and the film deal with location is that Shakespeare created his play to be performed in the 16th century theatre and was written to be heard as an auditory experience. Luhrmann's film, on the other hand, was created in 1996 and is primarily and image-intensive medium that can visually show the audience the locale. Shakespeare's audience referred to 'going to hear a play', rather than to see it; emphasising that Elizabethan thea ...view middle of the document...

Luhrmann crafts his Tybalt so that these many character traits are emphasised in the film, leaving audiences in no doubt that he is the catalyst for that chaos and a product of the chaotic world Luhrmann has created.Act 1 Scene 1:In Act 1 Scene of both Shakespeare and Luhrmann demonstrate the precise and deliberate nature of Tybalt's character. While Shakespeare shows this through punctuation, Luhrmann uses the filmic code of costuming to accurately portray Tybalt. Shakespeare deliberately uses commas to slow down Tybalt's speech, for example: "as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee", the use of commas conveys how Tybalt carefully crafts the way he speaks. This reflects his precise nature and how meticulous his character is. Shakespeare also wrote some of Tybalt's dialogue in Iambic Pentameter, this gives a rhythm to Tybalt's speech and also reinforces how he is organised. In Luhrmann's adaptation, Tybalt makes his first appearance in the opening scene of the movie, where he is seen wearing skin-tight black leather clothing. His outfit is accompanied by perfect, slicked-back hair and well groomed facial hair. It becomes very apparent to the viewers that Tybalt obviously has a strong eye for precision, implying that everything he does is done consciously and intentionally like Shakespeare had originally portrayed him to be through his methods of punctuation. The image the audience immediately receives from this is that he is conceited and arrogant. In Act 2 Scene 4, Shakespeare calls Tybalt the 'Prince of Cats' perhaps suggesting he is invincible as cats allegedly have nine lives, this also addresses his vanity to the audience as he appears to think he is untouchable, this is shown through him saying "look upon thy death". Luhrmann uses this in his opening scene by closely associating Tybalt with cats; close up shots on the engravings of vicious looking felines on his metal heels and the way he exaggerates the 's' and 'h' sounds like a hissing cat when he speaks the words 'heartless hinds' all add to this impression. Tybalt's outfit in the first scene perfectly grasps his character in the play. In the original text written by Shakespeare, Tybalt is sly, fastidious, poised and precise - by dressing Tybalt with expensive, flashy clothes with close relation to his cat-like qualities, Luhrmann points out these qualities to the audience.Tybalt is also portrayed as an egotistical character in Act 1 Scene 1. While Shakespeare demonstrates this through metaphor, Luhrmann suggests this through Tybalt's actions and movements. In Shakespeare's text Tybalt says "look upon thy death", this metaphor suggests that Tybalt knows he is a skilled fighter that is dangerous and has the power to kill. By calling himself "death" gives the audience the impression that Tybalt is showing off about his fighting abilities and isn't one for modesty. Luhrmann adapts this metaphor to visually show Tybalt's ego through his movements. Luhrmann gives Tybalt flamenco sty...


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