How does Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet as it was written compare with Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film version?
What is most notable about Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet is how similar it is to the text of the play. As was noted at the time, Zeffirelli cast actors to play Romeo and Juliet who were close in age to the play's young teenage leads, filmed it in Italy, and used Shakespeare's actual words. He also captures some of Shakespeare's mix of serious youthful intensity and comic adolescent zaniness; the young lovers are unwilling to compromise in their desires, such as the inability to wait to be married.
However, Zeffirelli made changes. He cut scenes and compressed the work to create a two-hour film. Romeo and Juliet was hardly the longest Shakespeare play—that was Hamlet—but if every scene had been filmed, the play would have been longer than two hours.
Zeffirelli also made changes to the ending to focus most of the drama and emotion on the double suicide. He leaves out Romeo's murder of Paris , making Romeo's suicide all the more more tragic, as it does not come in the wake of a...
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