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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 both Romeo andJuliet, and the similar tragedy, West Side Story.Above, I named a few of the many differences betweenWilliam Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Ernest Leaman'sscreenplay, West Side Story. One main difference is that inRomeo and Juliet the sililoquy is spoken while in West SideStory there is sililoquy, but it is in song. While both equallyexpress the character's feelings at the moment, it is my feelingthat West Side Story's musical style brings the ...view middle of the document...

This is veryimportant because in Romeo and Juliet, neither Romeo orJuliet is allowed to move on with their lives. In West SideStory, however, I'm sure Maria, although not shown in thefilm, moves on and gets over Tony.My theory on why the above is true, is that Romeo andJuliet are kept apart by family ties or blood; Juliet a Capuletand Romeo a Montague. Blood ties are what family is allabout and tend to be very strong bonds. In West Side Story theonly thing holding each other back from one another are theirties to gangs; Maria, the Sharks and Tony, the Jets. This, inmy eyes, makes Romeo and Juliet's love for one anotherstronger than Maria and Tony's. This is why it is easier forMaria to get over Tony.Also a major difference between these tragedies is theissue, or non-issue as it were, of marriage. Marriage isanother tie that Romeo and Juliet have that Tony and Mariadon't. In Romeo and Juliet's case marriage is seriouslybrought up almost immediately after they meet. In Tony andMaria's case marriage is brought up but, only in ajoking/kidding manner. To me this indicates that Romeo andJuliet are more grown up and ready to tackle life's challenges,while Tony and Maria are a little more childish andunprepared for what they've gotten themselves into.Although not a major difference, there is the absence ofTony and Maria's parents. This may not affect the story toomuch, but Romeo and Juliet's parents come into major play inWilliam Shakespeare's love story or love tragedy, dependingon your point of view. In Romeo and Juliet, without LordCapulet there is no wedding conflict and much of the quick'thinking' doesn't have to take place.You may have previously thought that West Side Storyand Romeo and Juliet were identical love tales. Of course, notcounting the fact that West Side Story is obviously updated. Ihope that my report on the differences between the two hasfinally cleared this up. I greatly appreciated the opportunityto write this report and I certainly learned a lot from it. Ihope you've enjoyed it.Romeo and Juliet versusWest Side StoryKirk Forte'Period 6Mrs. Searles2/9/97 (Final Draft)

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