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Remember the story of Romeo & Juliet, but now imagine it completely modernized. The thing is it would be completely different and most likely wouldn’t even convey the same feelings and emotions the original play would’ve given. Romeo and Juliet is a play created and orchestrated by a man named William Shakespeare. This story takes place in Verona, Italy during the renaissance times. There are 2 families that have been feuding one is called the Capulet family and the other is the Montague family. The main characters are in these families with Romeo bring a Montague and Juliet being a Capulet. The two fall in love but with many obstacles to go through like the feud between their families. But in a tragic yet somewhat hysterical turn of events, they end up committing suicide together. The setting of the play Romeo & Juliet enhances the story more than any other portrayal of the story could because its story wouldn’t be able to be put to any other setting making portrayals of the original setting better than most in the overall experience.
To begin with, If the ages were sent to a different time there would be many problems involving this. In an article, it states that Romeo is actually around the age of 17-21 but on the other hand, Juliet is 13. Normally now a couple of those ages couldn’t marry because the minimum age is 16 years old in Italy. This means that Romeo is at least 4 years older than Juliet. Which is a large age gap considering that Romeo is almost an adult if he’s not already one and is dating a minor. If this happened nowadays many people would be against this and even question if it’s against the law for an adult to marry/date a minor. Another thing is that it is implied in Romeo and Juliet that Juliet slept with Romeo. This means that Juliet a minor slept with an adult. Normally nowadays. Romeo would be arrested for sleeping with a minor and sent to jail because she’s under the age of consent. These things mean that if the setting was now most of the plot would have to be changed; Thus, deviating from the original plot not making it how Shakespeare intended it to be.
Secondly, Another reason why Is that more things in this would be deemed acceptable. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, there are many sword fights in which some people can die. Normally in our time people would be arrested for fighting and sent to jail. Unlike how Romeo was banished he would be imprisoned and that would change the plot. For example, if he were imprisoned he would have never come up with the suicide plan which is the main part of the ending of the play. Another thing is that in the story most things are from the renaissance times. If it was modernized most if not all things would have to change to fit the new story creating a lesser impact. Which would lead to a lesser experience for the viewers of the play. These things mean that if the setting was changed many ideals would change drastically changing the plot of the play deviating from how it was originally written.
Furthermore, If it wasn’t in Verona at that time there would have to be many changes to the story. For example, Quora states, Life in the 1600s was very difficult. Settlements were scattered along the coast from Virginia and the Carolinas to Massachusetts. In the early part of the 1600s settlements were small and far between. Food was scarce and there were few luxuries. This means that Ost areas were scattered apart and because of that, there was less government control. Which in turn would mean that the prince wouldn’t be there and Romeo wouldn’t have been banished leading to a change in the overall plot through the course of the story/play. Another example of this would be in places that don’t currently accept Christianity and follow another religion. Because many of the actions In the play are inspired by Christianity. Like Friar Lawrence and people confessing their sins to him. If it were in a different place there would be a different system of government and different cultural ideas behind many of the actions drastically changing the plot. Thus, also deviating from the original story.
Last but not least, If the timing was different many things would have changed. There were many times in the play that time was a crucial role in what happened. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, it quotes, ‘ROMEO AND BALTHASAR ENTER WITH A TORCH, A PICKAX, AND AN IRON CROWBAR’. This is when Romeo arrives to the tomb where Juliet is in. This leads to the ending everyone knows and may or may not love. If Friar Lawrence had gotten there before Juliet most of these events would have fully changed. For example, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet would’ve been avoided and there would’ve been a happy ending. This kind of ending would’ve had much less of an impact compared to both of them dying since if it was happy it would be like every other fairytale. Another example of this is when Romeo just happened to see Juliet from across the room at the party and instantly falls in love. If Juliet wasn’t standing there at that point in time Romeo would have looked at another girl and fallen in love with her instead of Juliet. This would fully change the course of events in the story into a most likely less impactful ending. But the original way Shakespeare intended it to be would have the most impact and emotion the way he intended it.
On the other hand, some may think a different setting would enhance the story. For example, the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet’s description states, ‘Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue’. This means that there is a modern version of it. Some may argue that since it’s modern it better fits our time; Thus, giving a better experience overall. But in Shakespeare’s writing, there are many vague moments in it like how the deaths are. These are there to help people imagine the moments to make the play for interesting for that individual person. If it was in a movie like the 1996 version it would show those moments and only interest certain people nullifying the other’s enjoyment of the story.
To conclude, Romeo and Juliet’s setting enhances the play more than any other play could because it is the way Shakespeare intended it to be. Because his setting would create the most desirable outcome in which the reader/viewer would have the most emotion felt about the story. Since the setting would incorporate the location, the time, and the timing all of which would change the impact of the story. Finally, the events of Romeo and Juliet would be completely different if there was even the slightest of change in the setting.
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