Stephanie Fernandes

Romeo and Juliet & West Side Story comparison and contrast practice essay

Both Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story demonstrate how love does not conquer all

Shakespeare’s text, Romeo and Juliet and the based off movie, West Side Story, both portray a
common theme of love and how it does not conquer all. Similarities between the text and film both contain a key message of how love is misconceived and is not a solution to unite loathing enemies. The hatred of the two violent worlds are overly destructive and overwhelm everyone and everything including love and the two lovers.

One similar aspect of both texts is the belief that love will overcome the rivalry of the two violent
worlds. Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet and Tony and Maria in West Side Story are both in belief
of this misconception. Friar Lawrence believes that marrying the two lovers will end the family feud between the Montague’s and Capulet’s. This is evident when he says to Romeo. “But come, young waverer, come, go with me, in one respect I'll thy assistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households' rancour to pure love.”   On the other hand, Maria and Tony believe that their love is ‘magical’ and can defeat all including the fight between the Sharks and Jets. This is marked when Tony and Maria exchange a conversation between the two in the bridal shop about the rumble.   ” Listen and hear me. You must go and stop it.” “All right, will…” “I believe you. You do have magic.” “Of course, I’ve got you” Oblivious of the situation and outcome, these three characters decide to take matters into their own hands and put their faith into the power of love to unite the two hatred opponents together. This manipulation has led to dissatisfaction as their love does not bring the two families together nor stop the battle but only bring more hate between the two foes and more danger between the two lovers. In summary love is only seen as a powerful...