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Romeo and Juliet Vs. West Side Story

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Maggie Bullard

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of Romeo and Juliet Vs. West Side Story

Theme: Young love is impulsive and unpredictable.
The theme is important for students to be exposed to
because it helps show them that "love" is impulsive and
that love can be dangerous if they aren't careful in their decision making. Romeo & Juliet VS. West Side Story Characters Similarities & Differences Setting Figurative Language Metaphors- "Afraid, chicken? Afraid, gutless?" (I.ix).
"OK, wise apples" (II.ii).
"Completely lost in each other" (I.iv).
"Good Peter, to hide her face, for her fan's the fairer face" (II.iv.114). Casualties Tybalt and Mercutio's death:
"O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead" (III.i.121)
"There lies that Tybalt." (III.i.145)

Bernardo and Riff's death:
"Riff, don't! [Riff hesitates a moment; the moment is enough for Bernardo- whose hand goes foward with a driving motion, running his knife into Riff... Tony rams his knife into Bernardo.]" (I.ix)

Romeo and Tony's death:
"Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. (V.iii.120)
"[As they run to each other, there is a gun shot, Tony stumbles, as though he has tripped. Maria catches him and cradles him in her arms as he falters to the ground.]" (II.VI)

Maria's innocence dying:
"I CAN KILL NOW BECAUSE I HATE NOW." (II.VI) Climax Similarities: Tony kills Bernardo because Bernardo kills Riff, who is Tony's bestfriend. Just as Romeo killed Tybalt because he kills Mercutio, Romeo's bestfriend. "I am hurt, a plague on both your houses. I am sped. Is he gone and hath nothing"( III.i.92-94). This is in reference to Mercutio dying and his last words to Romeo. "Tony leaps forward to cath Riff. He breaks his fall, then takes the knife from his hand. A free for all has broken out as Tony, knife in hand leaps at the triumphant Bernardo" (I.ix). This potrays Tony killing Bernardo in vengeance of RIff.
Differences: The original fight was between Mercutio and Tybalt, not the Jets and the Sharks as shown in West Side Story. Corresponding Characters

Friar Laurence-Doc Anita is similar to
the Nurse and this is
shown when she allows
Tony and Maria to see
other without telling. "Teachell what?
How can I hear what goes on
fifteen feet over my head? You
better be home in fifteen minutes."
(Laurents 182)
Nurse says out of concern and wanting
what is best for Juliet "O lord, I could
have stayed here all the night to hear
good counsel. O what learning is! My
lord, I'll tell my lady you will come,"
(lll.iii.159-161) Repetition- "We are sick, we are sick, we are sick sick sick" (II.ii). Similies- "I can slip in and out of 'em like wind through a fence" (II.ii).
"She sits quietly, like a woman in mourning"
"No 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door" (III.i.99-100). Romeo & Juliet:
"In fair Verona where we lay our scene..." (I.i.2) [Overall]
"Verona. Capulet's walled orchard and a lane by it. Enter Romeo in the lane." (II.i.SD) [Balcony Scene]
"Th' exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine." (II.ii.127) [Vows]

West Side Story:
"A suggestion of city streets and alleyways; a brick wall. (I.i.SD) [Overall]
"A back alley. A suggestion of building; a fire escape climbing to the rear winsow of an unseen flat. (I.v.SD) ['Balcony' Scene]
"I, Anoton, take thee, Maria... I, Maria, take thee, Anton..." (I.VII) [Vows]

Similarities: Both stories deal with a certain area of a city with two rivaling groups that are tightly bound together.

Differences: Between the two stories, there is about a 400 year difference. Romeo and Juliet takes place in Verona, England, wheras West Side Story takes place in slums in a city in America. This is an immense difference because these are two different continents as well as enviroments and lifestyles. Resolution Similarities:
-Romeo/Tony think Juliet/Maria is dead
-Tony/Romeo dies and through their death bring the two fueding groups together
"O brother Montague, give me thy hand.This is my daughter's jointure, for no more can I demand," (V.iii.296-298).

- Maria witnesses Tony's death
-Tony is killed by Chino instead of committing suicide
-Maria lives
-Both gangs see Tony die
-The adults are left useless at the end instead of helping bring everyone together
"The adults -- Doc, Schrank, Krupke, and Glad Hand -- are left bowed, alone, useless," (II.vi.).

Romeo and Juliet has a more hopeful ending; yes both of them do die but unlike in West Side Story there is no bitter Maria left behind. Also the ending of Romeo and Juliet has every one involved coming together when in West Side Story the two gangs come together but leave the adults out. All this makes Romeo and Juliet a more redemptive story of forgiveness and coming together in times of trial. Throughout both plays impulsiveness is a key idea. Without impulsiveness many of the major events in the plays would never happen; Romeo and Juliet wouldn't have killed themselves and Tony wouldn't have killed Bernardo. Some key quotes for this are:
"[Impulsively, he stops to kiss her hands; then tenderly, innocently, her lips]" (I.iv).
"All this happens terribly fast; and Tony rams his knife into Bernardo...Tony stands horrified, over the still bodies of Riff and Bernardo," (I.ix).
"How do you fire this gun, Chino? Just by pulling this little trigger? [She points it at him suddenly; he draws back... Her voice grows stronger with anger and savage rage,] (II.vi).
In Romeo and Juliet many similar things occur. For example:
"His name be Romeo, and a Montague; The only son of your great enemy.' 'My only love has sprung from my only hate, Too early seen unknown, and known too late," (I.v.138-141)
" O churl, drunk all; and left no friendly drop To help me after?I will kiss thy lips; Haply some poison yet doth hang on them," (V.iii.163-165)

The first and last quote of each occur at similar times in the play; the first ones being when the two lovers have just met and are in "love". The last quotes are right after Romeo/Tony dies and show Juliet and Maria's responses to th death of their loved one. Rivalry Rivalry caused all three of the casualties in West Side Story, starting off by introducing the gangs that caused the deaths, "A condensation of the growing rivalry between two teen-age gangs, the Jets and the Sharks" (I.i). Soon, they call a rumble which is mainly when the deaths happen, "We challenge you to a rumble. All out, once and for all. Accept?" (I.VI) "Then Bernardo and Diesel remove their jackets" (I.IX) "Whose hand goes forward with a driving motion, running his knife into Riff...and Tony rams his knife into Bernardo" (I.IX). These three quotes are important because they show the build up of rivalry between the two gangs. In the end they all come together, though, shown in this quote, "As the two Jets and two Sharks lift up Tony's body and start to carry him out" (I.VI). Impulsiveness In both West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet the idea of fate is played as a element of irony.
"O true apothecary Thy drugs are quick thus with a kiss I die," (V.iii.107-108) "I do remember wellwhere I should be, And there I am. Where is my Romeo?" (V.iii.149-150)
Juliet wakes up only moments after Romeo kills him self. If Romeo had only waited a minute to kill himself he could have lived
with his love Juliet in happiness. But the fickle "fate" played the two lovers a nasty trick. But that was most likely the only way to reconcile the two families.
" The moment is enough for Bernardo whose hand goes forward with a driving motion running his knife into Riff," (I.ix.) If Tony hadn't caused Riff to pause Bernardo wouldn't have killed him or would have injured him less drastically.
"Stay away from my sister! "Sister?" "Couldn't you see he's one of them?"(I.iv.) If Maria hadn't been a Shark, let alone Bernardo's sister and Tony a Jet their love could have flourished.
"When I look at Chino nothing happens,"(I.iii). If Maria hadn't been set up with Chino, Chino wouldn't have shot Tony, and Tony and Maria could have been free to love each other. Fate All this helps show that Laurents based West Side Story off of Romeo and Juliet by giving the characters similar roles and personalities. But Laurents doesn't let everything that happens in Romeo and Juliet dictate his writing and brings originalty to the play through the twist ending.
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