Essay on Tybalt Romeo and Juliet

5 May 2016

Describe Tybalt and using techniques, explain how he was made a disliked character The film Romeo and Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann in 1996, is a romantic tragedy that tells the story of two young lovers who commit suicide. Their deaths that conclude Baz Luhrmann’s film were a result of the terrible feud running between their two families.

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Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, has a major role in the events that lead to their deaths, and was made a disliked character through many different techniques. The techniques I will be describing are costume, camera shots and angles and using a motif. Costume is an influential technique used to subtly manipulate the audience’s feelings towards Tybalt to be distasteful and loathing.

This is important because Tybalt is the ‘bad guy’ in the movie, and making him disliked is a way of emphasising this. An example of when costume is used to make Tybalt disliked is at the ball scene, when he is dressed as a cold- hearted devil. He was wearing red devil horns, a red sequinned waistcoat with a white shirt underneath and black trousers. By dressing him as a devil, Baz Luhrmann is portraying him as a nasty character full of hatred.

This is a way of foreshadowing; telling the audience that he will prove an issue to Romeo and Juliet’s plan and do everything in his power to sabotage it. The costumes at the ball scene are like a fairytale: there is an angel, Juliet, a knight in shining armour, Romeo and a devil, Tybalt. This is relevant to our society because the costumes represent the roles of the characters in the story.

Another technique used to make Tybalt a disliked character is constantly referring him back to cats. The importance of this is the audience receiving an indirect message that Tybalt’s personality resembles that of a cats.

For example, he is respected for his agility and swiftness with the sword, but cats are considered sly and willing to brandish their claws without hesitation, just as Tybalt is willing to brandish his sword. Another place Baz Luhrmann has used cats in relation to Tybalt is his name; the Prince of Cats, and he belongs to the Capulet house which has a cat face on its logo. He has a moustache, goatee and curly sideburns, making his face features similar to a cats’.

Also, in the first scene while he is fighting, cat sound effects are used as he leaps and jumps, waving his gun around. This is relevant to our society because it gives the audience an idea of who Tybalt is and uses the metaphor of a cat to describe his personality. Camera shots and angles are influential techniques Baz Luhrmann used to make Tybalt appear intimidating.

This is important because it builds up his threatening, hostile and disliked character. In the beginning scene, as Tybalt steps out of the car, the camera zooms into a close up shot of his boot as it crushes a cigarette. Every sound and movement is exaggerated in this moment, which builds tension.

This is a way for Baz Luhrmann to indicate what kind of character Tybalt is going to be before we’ve even seen his face. Later in that scene, there are many low angle shots of Tybalt, making it seem as though we are looking up at him. This makes Tybalt appear superior, and emphasizes his high rank in the Capulet House.

This is relevant to our society because the way people appear without knowing them or their personality is often how we remember someone. In conclusion, I think Baz Luhrmann was successful in making Tybalt a disliked character through the many techniques he used such as costume and camera shots and angles.

The motif compared Tybalt to a cat, with his shrewd but aggressive behavior, while the camera angles and shots gave the impression he is superior to the other characters and the costume represented his character in relation to the other characters in Romeo and Juliet.

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