Comparison of West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet
Scene 9 WSS Act II.i. R & J
Students should be able to contrast elements in these two scenes. For example, both Romeo and Tony try to stop the fighting, neither one wants to fight, neither can explain himself to the others. Both end up inadvertently causing the death of their best friend, and therefore unleashing the seeds of their own destruction.
The atmosphere and mood in both scenes—Is it the same? Do the students sense the anger and hostility building to a climax?
In WSS the fight turns into a dance. Does this lessen the tension? Does the mood grow more violent? Does the dance take away from the realism? Which scene is more realistic? The students should also compare the visual, videotape versions. What does Romeo mean when he cries, “O I am fortunes fool!” What does Tony mean when he cries for “Maria?
Is the doom that hangs over both pairs of lovers felt in both scenes as Romeo and ‘Tony run off?
The students should find more points to compare and contrast. They should be able to understand the points of comparisons in all the scenes and in all the characters in the scenes (four scenes from
Romeo and Juliet