Essay, Research Paper: Romeo And Juliet With West Side Story

Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

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Story are two very similar movies. Though they are alike in many ways, they are
also very different as well. The two movies mirror each other all the way until
the fight in West Side Story and until Mercutio dies in Romeo and Juliet. When
Tony dies in West Side Story and Maria, acting as a “Juliet”, the major
differences start to show. In Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers both die, in West
Side Story, Maria lives. Instead of fighting between families, as the Montagues
and the Capulets, West Side Story brings out the gang activity, Sharks vs. Jets.
Some of the characters in West Side Story are the same personality-type as the
ones in Romeo and Juliet. These characters: Maria as a Juliet, Tony as Romeo,
Bernardo as Tybalt, Anita as the Nurse, etc., have the same attitudes. These are
only a few of the similarities. The opening scenes in both movies are similar
also. In West Side Story the Sharks harass a man, as the members of his gang
show up to his side. They don’t exchange words; they just start singing and
dancing. This is when the cops come to break up the two gangs, just like Esclas(?)
did in Romeo and Juliet. There is another time when Riff talks Tony into
attending the dance at the gym as Benvolio talks Romeo into attending the ball.
At the dance, there appears a young girl, Maria, just as in Romeo and Juliet,
the exact ideal when Juliet appears. When Anita is telling Maria that she
can’t possibly be in love with Tony; for he is an American, and Lady Capulet
and the Nurse speak to Juliet about the differences between the two families.
Both girls know that their love is chancing, they still are strong-willed in
keeping it. Both girls are also there to marry people they are not in love with.
And again, their Ladies tell them that they should just marry who they are told
to marry. In West Side Story, Tony and Maria first meet at the dance just as in
Romeo and Juliet, where they both first meet at the ball. It is like love at
first sight in both stories. The balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet also reflects
the fire escape scene in West Side Story. Both men speak to the girls as a part
of the sky, the sun, moon, etc. Anita finds out about the love between Tony and
Maria, as the Nurse with Romeo and Juliet, yet both are supportive. The gang
activity in West Side Story doesn’t come that close with the gang activity of
today. Today, gangs are a lot more violent, there is a harsher way to prove your
loyalty whereas today, like having to kill someone or cut off their fingers,
etc. In West Side Story, to be in gangs you must just prove your loyalty through
your honesty. In gangs today, they surely don’t sing and dance around. The
names that the gangs have in West Side Story are not harsh names, either. Today,
they are ugly names with harsh meanings. The only similar things with the gangs
today and in West Side Story that I have seen is that they stick together, push
their publicity, and have certain things about them that they all do together.
One example, being the color, number, race, name, etc., that today’s gangs use
to distinguish themselves with also is used in West Side Story. Roxanne and
Cyrano de Bergerac also have similar qualities to them. First, the names of
Roxanne and C. D Bales, maybe standing for Cyrano de Bergerac and of course both
girls are named Roxanne. In both movies, the whole town loves a man, but the man
fears that he could never have the love of a woman because he has such a big
nose. Both movies strike a universal note because maybe that we all have some
type of thing or way about us that we secretly fear people may ridicule. In
Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano falls in love with Roxanne, as does Christian. This
reflects Bales falling in love with, again, Roxanne just like Chris. In Roxanne,
she falls in love with Chris first because of the outer features, but he
doesn’t know how to talk to woman. C.D Bales is good with woman and gentle
with them, just like in Cyrano, how Roxanne is in love with Christian’s face
and Cyrano’s words. There is also a way that Cyrano de Bergerac is like Romeo
and Juliet. It relates to the romance part when Romeo and Juliet first kiss,
they then get married and Romeo dies. In Roxanne, her and Christian kiss, they
get married then Christian dies. In Cyrano de Bergerac, we discover how stupid
Christian is, but also admire him because he just wants Roxanne to love him for
him, not his words, since they are really Cyrano’s words anyway. This has some
similar feelings as in Roxanne. I liked personally liked both of the older films
better. Romeo and Juliet, just because it is a classic, and to me West Side
Story is just a poor version of it. I thought that Cyrano de Bergerac was better
than Roxanne because it had more meaning. I did like Roxanne because it was more
modern, but I guess great movies can never be duplicated.
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