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Film as interpretation

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Jack Jorgens’ article “Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. Take a few minutes to answer the questions below. You might point to specific passages in the article that support your point of view. We will discuss these issues as a class.

Did the article help you to understand anything about the play that you didn’t notice before? What was it?

Which characters/relationships were heavily interpreted in the film? Did you agree or disagree with Zeffirelli’s portrayal?

List a major difference between the film and the text. Is the film interpretation appropriate? Why or why not? Does the film help you to understand the text or does it present an entirely new story?

Why would Zeffirelli choose to speed up the events at the end? What is the effect of this? Which important elements are missing from the last scenes?

What do you think of the fact that Zeffirelli cut down the language so much? Why would he choose to do this? What is the advantage of this editing? What is lost?

The author of the article claims that one deficiency of the film is that the lovers do not understand the “larger pattern” (175) of their death-marked love. Do you think that the original text indicates that kind of understanding? Do you think that their love matures? Do they mature? What evidence can you point to that would indicate that they did or did not grow up as a result of their experiences?

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