This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Contrast Of Romeo And Juliet And West Side Story

1653 words - 7 pages

Works Cited Missing

Three Hundred Fifty Years of Blind Love: A Contraposition of Shakespeare and Robbins’ Romeo and Juliet Andy Warhol once said, "They say that time changes things, but actually you have to change them yourself." Two hundred fifty years passed between the original Romeo and Juliet and the premiere of West Side Story on Broadway in 1957. However, time did not change the message of the story, simply the creators’ unique visions evolved. Shakespeare’s delivery of the timeless tale of desperate love in his classic Romeo and Juliet proves to only intensify through retelling and modern interpretation. Audiences cherish Romeo and Juliet as one of the most beloved plays of all time from the Elizabethan Age to the present. Romeo and Juliet have attained the role as the quintessential lovers, and the noun, "a Romeo," is synonymous with " lover." Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is closely based on Arthur Brooke's tale, The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet. The language, attitudes, and customs detailed in the play are generally English, in spite of Brooke’s original Italian setting.

In 1949, choreographer Jerome Robbins decided to retell Brooke and Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy using song and dance, elements of racism and nationalism, and a modern vernacular. Robbins called upon the musical talents of composer Leonard Bernstein and the words of Arthur Laurents for the script and book. The love story proved to have universal appeal throughout all artistic forms, as it had already been adjusted for opera and ballet. The contemporary adaptation of this timeless classic alters details and deepens the message of hatred, but maintains Brooke and Shakespeare’s vision. The relationships between the characters, plot sequence, and theme of hatred in West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet intertwine resulting in two similar, yet varying versions of the most famous love story of all time.

The relationships between the characters of West Side Story and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet are reflective of their respective time periods and the original story. Maria and Juliet represent a slightly practical counterpart to both Tony’s and Romeo’s idealistic nature. Maria’s brother Bernardo and Juliet’s cousin Tybalt portray impulsively stubborn and violent characters who both die from wounds inflicted by the male lead. Lieutenant Schrank is similar to Prince Escalus, although Schrank is unfair in his treatment and attitude towards one gang- the Sharks. Anita and Nurse both take on the role as Juliet’s confidant and trusted friend, often tampering with their roles as messengers.

The mischievously tomboyish Anybodys, who desperately wants to be a Jet, would best fit into the role of Balthasar, since it was she who aided Tony in escaping after the rumble, as well as later informing the other Jets that Tony was being hunted. Finally, the character of Doc appears to fulfill the role of Friar Laurence because both possess somewhat of a...

Find Another Essay On Contrast Of Romeo And Juliet and West Side Story

Contrast of the Portrayal of Characters within The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story

1486 words - 6 pages different ways. In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s character develops strength through her love for Romeo, while in West Side Story Maria, the equivalent of Juliet, is strong from the very beginning. When questioned about marriage, Juliet first says, “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move. But no more deep will I end art mine eye than your consent gives strength to make fly.” (Shakespeare Ⅰ,ⅳ,103-104), but later after she has met Romeo

"Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story": A comparison

2973 words - 12 pages , Manhattan, NY in the 50's, where a lot of Puerto Ricans moved to the US to start a new life.West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet: A comparisonCharacters (Related to personality, not plot)To start off my contrary/contrast of Romeo and Juliet's and West Side Story's characters, I will begin with the male counterparts. Both Romeo and Juliet's Romeo and West Side Story's Tony express their love for Juliet/Maria in similar ways. Both show their love

Comparing Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story

1079 words - 4 pages Comparing Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story In this piece of coursework I will be analysing the technical aspects of the opening scenes in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. I will be talking about the body language, costumes, colour schemes, the sounds, music and camera angles used in each of the films. Both these films are about two lovers who fall in love despite being in rival gangs or families

West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet Comparsion

683 words - 3 pages Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story both tell a story of two lovers who can not be together because of a feud. The characters in Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story are similar in their actions but are different in family background and their attitudes. Two characters that are similar, but different are Tybalt and Bernardo. The two characters had different attitudes and family backgrounds.Tybalt’s attitude was more daring, while

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet vs. West Side Story

722 words - 3 pages Romeo & Juliet vs. West Side Story Shakespeare's is one of the most read writers ever and his writing was so successful that not just one group of people liked it. He did this by relating to his audience using universal truths. . Human emotions are not something that change over time and they are also known as universal truths; love, hate, revenge, and envy are all examples of universal truths. This play was so successful that many other

An Ultimate Parallelism: Romeo and Juliet versus West Side Story

3896 words - 16 pages The story of Romeo and Juliet is a classic. It is preformed in many forms and fashions. Themes changed, twisted, and unfolded accordingly. Although the play may have consisted of a tragic ending, other directors tended to put their own twists on the theme to give a happier ending. For West Side Story, on the other hand, this unforgettable play followed in the footsteps of the Shakespearean classic. With so many performances and awards, West Side

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet vs. West Side Story

1839 words - 7 pages Romeo & Juliet vs. West Side Story      What would Romeo and Juliet be like if Juliet hadn't died? What if Paris killed Romeo, instead of vice versa? What if instead of occurring several centuries ago, it took place on the streets of New York City during the 1950s, with a bunch of fresh-faced youths posing as street toughs and dancing and singing their hearts out? Well, just take a look at West Side Story, and

West Side Story as a Modern Romeo and Juliet

1952 words - 8 pages their circumstances of arranged marriage. In fact, for almost every character in Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story has a counterpart:•Nurse – Anita•Tybalt – Bernardo•Friar Lawrence – Doc•Paris – Chino•Mercutio – RiffThe obvious main story change comes from the era in which it was adapted into: the gang era of the 1950’s. This has come under much scrutiny and criticism for it’s portrayal

Title: The Tragedies of "Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story"

665 words - 3 pages "Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story" are both timeless dramas that willlive forever, but "Romeo and Juliet" is a classic that has a much more powerfuland tragic impact on the reader than "West Side Story". Although both of thesestories have many similarities, there are also many differences. Thesedifferences include the differences in soliloquy, the fact that Maria doesn't die, thefact that we never see Tony or Maria's parents, the issues of

Comparison of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare to West Side Story by Arthur Laurents

783 words - 3 pages The play Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare is about two teenagers from rival families, Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, that fall in love. They must go behind their parents back to be together, but their relationship only ends in the death of both of them, plus others close to them. The book West Side Story written by Arthur Laurents was based on the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, but set in the 1960's with a modern setting

Romeo And Julite Vs. West Side Story

557 words - 2 pages talking, and Tony is the one who is singing, not Maria, Juliet's counter part. Also, in Romeo and Juliet the nurse was calling Juliet to come inside from the balcony. In West Side Story, Lehman chose Maria's father to call her. In West Side Story, Anita is the nurse's role, but Maria has a close relationship with her parents, unlike Juliet whose best friend was the nurse. This part of the scene bears a very strong resemblance to the one in Romeo and

Similar Essays

Romeo And Juliet, West Side Story, Compare And Contrast

514 words - 2 pages "Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story" are two similarly different stories. They are both great stories written by great writers. "Romeo and Juliet" is a sad love story that's a classic known by many. It is the perfect model to be used by other writers. It is one of the best works of William Shakespeare. Although "West Side Story" is not as famous as "Romeo and Juliet", it was a impressive work of it's time, and it has left his mark on the

Romeo And Juliet / West Side Story A Comparison / Contrast

995 words - 4 pages      Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story both have a lot in common as well as major differences that set them apart. Although West Side Story is a direct rendition of Shakespeare's original play, many of the themes and symbols are altered to fit the modern perspective. The characters have a direct correlation to each other, yet racial issues give them a new light. Many of the events also reflect each

Romeo And Juliet And West Side Story

1141 words - 5 pages , Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare tells the tale of young love and fatal misfortune. With the same message the musical from the 50’s, West Side Story directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise carries out a similar story of young love and tragedy. Although some are touched by these love stories, others argue it tells a tale of young fools. Although the theme of tragedy is seen in both stories as the time goes on from when they stories

Romeo And Juliet Vs. West Side Story

876 words - 4 pages Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, two timeless dramasthat will live forever. Although both of these stories havemany similarities, there are also many differences. Thesedifferences include the differences in sililoquy, the fact thatMaria doesn't die, the fact that we never see Tony or Maria'sparents, as well as the issues of marriage, the importance ofgangs and families to each story. To understand thesedifferences, I have read and/or watched