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Media studies

Taking a text and turning it into a film is a kind of translation. It's useful to explore this in the classroom, not least because it encourages students to focus on meanings embedded in the original. Take, for example, the tomb scene in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare wants us to feel the intensity of Juliet's loss, and he does it with the sentence, "Thy lips are warm!". Romeo is emphatically dead. Zeffirelli stays with the text, but Baz Luhrman does it differently. Juliet is conscious, and watching, as Romeo takes the poison. Does this "translation" have the same effect as the original text?

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