Romeo and Juliet (Film 1968)

Romeo and Juliet (Film 1968) Imagery

Light and Dark

Where as in most works, light and dark respectively signify good and bad, in Romeo and Juliet (1968), the case is often the opposite. Romeo and Juliet meet beneath Juliet's balcony under cover of darkness, and before sunrise Romeo must be gone lest they be caught. Similarly, they spend the night together before Romeo's exile, but when the morning light comes pouring in, Juliet is forced to rush Romeo out to ensure he doesn't get in more trouble.

Romeo and Juliet Being Shown Side-By-Side

When Juliet stabs herself and dies, she lays her head gently on Romeo's chest, creating a Yin-Yang type image in which he is positioned left to right and she from right to left from the head down, an indication that their story has come full-circle and they are together in death at last. In the funeral scene, they are shown being carried into the church side by side, a representation of the fact that their memories are forever as tied together as their deaths were.

The Families' Contrasting Outfits

One way that the difference between the Montagues and Capulets is signaled is visually, through their clothing: the Capulets largely dress in bright colors of orange and yellow, while their enemies dress in duller shades of blue, green, and gray. This emphasizes the fact that these two clans are at odds, and also helps the audience visually separate them from one another.

Comparing the Nurse to a Ship

When the Nurse goes out into the square to request a private word with Romeo, she dresses in a flowing, layered dress and has Peter carry her long veil behind her like a great sail. This prompts the Montague boys to call out to her as sailors call to ships, as her image reminds them of a great large ship with a sail blowing in the breeze.