Staging of particular scene of Romeo and Juliet

This essay will be based on the way in which I would stage a scene of my choice from the play, Romeo and Juliet by the playwright, William Shakespeare. I have chosen to describe how I would stage the scene with the fight featuring Romeo, Mercutio and Tybalt which ends in the tragic death of both Mercutio and Tybalt. I chose this after considering the level of drama and excitement in this particular scene and thought it would be an interesting challenge.During the Shakespearian period it would obviously have been difficult to stage this particular scene, as the visual effects would prove difficult to apply. There are many problems that need to be overcome to provide a realistic, believable tragedy. These consisted of the level of realistic appearance, the identification of where the scene is set, the quality of acting and the general layout of the scene. Some could argue that Shakespeare’s plays were too extravagant and ambitious for his period.The costumes that the characters wear need to be of some practicality and co-operate with the period and the characters themselves. All male characters linked with the Montague house in the fight will wear white shirts to show they are from the same side, simple black tights with a short dagger on the side and some short Italian feathers on their hats. Romeo, particularly, will have a gold trimming on his white shirt to represent his innocence and heroics, Mercutio’s shirt will have a red trimming to represent his passion for the Montague’s and hatred for Tybalt. Benvolio’s shirt will have a green trim to represent the peace he is trying to create between the two foes. Tybalt on the other hand will be wearing a baggy black shirt to represent the evil in him and the death he brings to the scene.If I was to stage this scene I would find it extremely hard to create a sense of reality. I think the stage layout is very important as the audience must have a sense of direction of the scene. I would start by putting a door on opposite sides of the stage to show a degree of opposition when the actors enter. There will be no scenery and the background will simply be draped in black sheets to indicate the play is a tragedy. There may be a few props such as a table and an arch will help the dramatic appearance of the actual sword fight as they try to fight around it. Above the doors at either end of the stage will be balconies for the musicians to sit and provide sound effects at particular moments through the scene, especially at the moment where Mercutio is stabbed and is lying on the floor dead.As for means of injuries and realistic appearance of them I think that as long as the quality of acting is superior it would be believable as to what injuries were occurring. To aid the actors in achieving this I would place a sheep’s stomach behind the clothing so once pierced it would look like the actor is really bleeding and actually has been stabbed. Obviously each part will be played by a male as women were forbidden from the stage in the Shakespearian period. His wouldn’t have posed a problem to this particular scene but is an appropriate detail to take into account.When giving stage directions to the actors it would have to be mentioned that each side has a particular hatred for each other so everything should be said in an unfriendly manner except when speaking to each other. It should also be mentioned that Mercutio was not joking when he said, ‘A plague on both your houses’ which is what was conveyed in the 1936 version by G.Cukar.A big difference between the film portrayals from 1936 by G.Cukar, 1954 by R.Castellani, 1968 by Franco Zefferelli and 1997 by Baz Luhrmann are that they all use swords as in the original play and try and make it look as if it is being filmed in the Shakespearian period, but the 1997 version by Baz Luhrmann does not even attempt this. Instead he gives it a modern twist, with guns and cars involved. This makes it more appealing to the modern audience as they may find it interesting how the play is conveyed in their period. Although the differences between the first three are noticeably smaller, there are few differences such as the setting. G.Culkar’s version was set in an indoor courtyard, R.Castellani’s version was set in a busy market place and Franco Zefferelli’s version was set in an outdoor courtyard.

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