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 movies have copied the plot but changed the scenery. Over the past 400 years since this play was written the world has changed drastically, but the emotions and feelings in this play have withstood the test of time. This is why the movies, Romeo and Juliet (1996) and West Side Story (1961) were so
Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story share many similar themes. Romeo and Juliet both chronicle a story of overcoming prejudice and hatred, forbidden love, and defying stereotypes that nobody thought could be broken. The two stories are similar in a multitude of ways, even though their settings are centuries apart- Romeo and Juliet set in the 1500’s, and West Side Story set in the 1950’s. Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story both teach a lesson of how prejudice can teach you how to hate, and how one of your rivals may be the one who helps you remember how to love.
Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story are both iconic, enjoyable stories that most people have heard of. Romeo and Juliet was written much earlier than West Side Story was, however it was still based on older Italian stories. These stories can teach us a lot about our daily lives and how we live them. In order to do this though, we have to make other comparisons throughout the story first. So, let’s dive in and analyze the differences between the stories, their origins, and their authors.
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 other, yet small differences give them uniqueness. West Side Story differs from Romeo and Juliet in characterizations, plot sequences, and themes.
The text Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and the text west side story by Arthur Laurent’s deals with the main themes of love and conflict. The two stories are similar in multitude of ways, even though their settings are centuries apart. The author explore (other themes) family, friendship, and hate. Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story both teach a lesson of how to hate, and how one of your rivals may be the one who helps you remember how to love.
Although the discrepancies between Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story are too frequent to categorize in such limited space, it is impossible for anyone familiar with both texts to not notice the obvious similarities between the two works ("Theme"). From the opening scenes in both, up through the rumble in West Side Story/death of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the plays mirror each other (Poelstra). It isn't until the last part of West Side Story, where Tony (our modern-day Romeo) dies and Maria (Tony's Juliet) doesn't (unlike the two star-crossed lovers of Shakespeare's work, both of whom perish), that the major difference between the two works becomes apparent.
Since the beginning of time people have been intrigued by the story of “two star-crossed lovers”, those who long to be together but never can. Such is the case of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the collaboration work, West Side Story. The purpose of this paper is to show the similarities and differences between these two tragic love stories.
In approximately 1594, William Shakespeare began to write one of the most well known tragedies in history, Romeo and Juliet. Arguably, no author to date has matched Shakespeare's skill and beauty in the creation of this work. However, authors have regurgitated and will continue to regurgitate the theme, "star-crossed lovers", for centuries. Martha Duffy remarks in "West Side Glory", "Slang may change and violence escalate, but the theme of star-crossed city kids has never dated, nor has its appeal diminished" (p. 1). The only viable attempt is the work of modern dramatist Arthur Laurents. However, Laurents' West Side Story originally written as an attempt to
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.
The time period of the play and the time period of the movie are very different. In the movie, the prologue was on a T.V. screen and it was not in the play. Also in the movie, they used cars instead of horses to get around. In the movie, Romeo and his friends always smoked and would take drugs and they did not do that in the play. In the play, the different families owned castles and in the movie they own different businesses and buildings. They also had guns instead of swords in the movie. Also in the movie, they dressed more modern than they would have in the play.
Meshing Together of Characters in Arthur Laurents' West Side Story and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
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 you will have your answers. It is impossible for anyone familiar with both texts to not note the obvious major similarities between the two plays. From the opening scenes in both, up through the rumble in West Side Story/death of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the plays mirror each other (Poelstra).
The scene that was most different between the play and the movie of Romeo and Juliet was how the two crossed lovers first met each other. In the play Romeo and the Montague boys find out about the Capulet party through a poor peasant who could not read the invitations. While in the movie the Capulet party is announced through a newscast over T.V. I think the director changed this so the invite can go more along with the time period of the movie. This could change how the viewers see it by making the invite less secret. Over a newscast anyone who was paying attention to the T.V. could of heard the invite. Another main difference in this scene would be Romeo and Juliet first seeing each other in the bathroom across a fish tank rather than across the ballroom in the play. This could take away from the romantic side of the two first seeing each other. In the play it seems Romeo and Juliet have more privacy when they first speak to each other. In the movie the two are getting on and off an elevator just not to be seen. This could add more suspense to the scene and make the viewers see the movie from a lofty viewpoint.