When writing a comparison between a Shakespeare play and a play that has been made into a movie, one must remember something: Shakespeare never saw a movie, nor did he intend for his plays to become movies. You can tell this by the language of his plays. Since in a play, you cannot show the weather or the scenery, Shakespeare's language is very descriptive. In Romeo and Juliet, love is depicted in several ways.
Both the movie (1996) and the play (1597) represent love in different ways and in different contexts to both the Elizabethan era and the contemporary audience. They both communicate to the audience on the values of love and society by employing a variety of devices. When Romeo meets Juliet for the first time during the Capulets' feast, the language shows the audience that they are in their own world completely different from public life. However, in the movie it shows this by circling the cameras around them and blurring out the background.
This effect makes the audience feel that Romeo and Juliet are at the center of the universe. Another level in this play is the social barrier that Romeo and Juliet face. Shakespeare presents this in the feud between the Capulets and the Montague's. He also presents this through Paris, the man that Juliet's father would like for her to marry. It is a barrier that both Romeo and Juliet believe their love can overcome.
In the script, the barriers between them are presented in many different ways throughout the movie. One way in particular is the fish tank. It is a barrier keeping them apart, yet they can still see each other. When they kiss for the first time, again the cameras encircle them and blur out the images in the background, making is seem that they are again at the center of their own universe.
In the play, Shakespeare uses his language to tell the audience Romeo and Juliet were made for each other. When Romeo and Juliet first speak with each other, it is displayed in a sonnet in which they take turns speaking. This shows the audience how in tune they are with each other. In the movie however, the director shows the two "star-crossed lovers" are truly in love with each other by the smitten, longing looks, the close-up shots, and the music of Des " ree. The song "Kissing You" is played the first time they kiss. The main difference you always have to take into consideration with a play and a movie is that in a movie you see everything.
You can relate the words to the surroundings, making it sometimes easier to understand. In a play, your imagination plays a major part in how you interpret the scenes. Shakespeare's works are the most read in the world, even today. His plays force you to use your imagination and to explore literature in an entirely new way.
This is why his plays are being made into movies and becoming as successful as they are.