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Romeo And Julite Vs. West Side Story

557 words - 2 pages

Switching Roles (R&J v. WSS) Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Ernest Lehman's West Side Story are similar in many ways; however, in those comparisons there are some minor differences. Aside from the similarities between Romeo and Tony or Juliet and Maria, there are many other likenesses such as the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet and the fire escape scene in West Side Story. In Romeo and Juliet the scene starts off with Romeo listening to Juliet give her "What's in a name?" speech, and similarly, in West Side Story the scene starts off with Maria overhearing Tony singing "Maria." Because Lehman took the Romeo and Juliet story and developed a setting in more modern times, there had to be some parallels in the story, and Lehman suitably took an apartment fire escape to replace the famous balcony. However, there is a difference in that in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet was the one 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 Juliet, because there are really no character switches or major changes. Another similarity is that as Romeo and Tony are leaving, a time is set up for the lovers to meet the next...

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