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Compare and contrast West Side Story with Romeo & Juliet

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Introduction

Compare and contrast West Side Story with Romeo & Juliet The first aspect of the two plays I am going to compare is the time in which the plays were set and written. Romeo & Juliet was written in about 1596. It is about two rival families named the Capulates and the Montagues and is set in the small Italian city of Verona in the 13th century. West Side Story on the other hand was written much later in 1961 by Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents and was directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise. It was set in gun barron New York City against the tenement section of New York City. ...read more.

Middle

These two very wealthy families have a long lasting grudge the reason for which is not entirely clear. In West Side Story the reason for the rival gang's feud is very clear it is a feud over racial and cultural differences. One of the gangs is white American and the other is Puerto Rican. Their aspirations and values are very different. The third way in which I am going to compare the plays is to analyse the main themes and the tragic endings. The main theme is the same, there are love stories between two members of the feuding groups. The key principal of both stories is the overriding power of love but they both end in completely different ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final aspects of the plays I am going to look at are the culture and the style in which they are written. The key difference in the culture are the two families in Romeo & Juliet are very rich as i have said previously and the two gangs in West Side Story are extremely poor and working class. The style is also very different because Romeo & Juliet is written as a romantic tragedy and West Side Story however is written as a romantic musical. In conclusion although these two plays are very similar in basic storyline they are actually very different when looked at in more detail. However in the end of the plays as a result of tragic deaths the two feuding groups reconcile their differences. ...read more.

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