Romeo and Juliet, west side story, compare and contrast

Essay by asef08Junior High, 9th grade May 2005

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"Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story" are two similarly different stories. They are both great stories written by great writers. "Romeo and Juliet" is a sad love story that's a classic known by many. It is the perfect model to be used by other writers. It is one of the best works of William Shakespeare. Although "West Side Story" is not as famous as "Romeo and Juliet", it was a impressive work of it's time, and it has left his mark on the times afterwards. It is also a love story which also ends with somebody's death. Both Shakespeare and Arthur Laurents had done their best when they wrote these stories.

"Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story" have similar, if not exactly the same theme. Both stories display the power of love and the destruction caused by hatred. In "Romeo and Juliet" two people from rival families fall in love.

The families' hatred destroys the two lovers, and the love of the two lovers brings the two families together. But the two families learn their lesson a little bit too late. Their hatred already claimed the life of two innocent people. In "West Side Story" something similar happens. There are also two lovers in this story. The lovers were separated because of gang related violence. In this story, the violence between two gangs also caused death.

The setting of the two stories is one of the few differences. The two stories have very diverse settings. "Romeo and Juliet" takes place in Vernon in the 15th century while "West Side Story" took place in New York around the 1950's. The two gangs have their fights in the streets of New York while the Montague's and the Capulet's raged war on the streets of Verona long before...



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