Westside Story Essay, Research Paper
Romeo & Juliet and Westside Story
The plays Romeo and Juliet and Westside Story have many
similarities and differences. One major compare and contrast in the two,
are the main characters. Tony, one of the main male characters in
Westside Story, is comparable to Romeo; Maria of Westside Story, is
comparable to Juliet. Some of the other comparable characters include:
Anita to the nurse, Riff to Mercutio, and Bernardo to Tybalt.
Tony and Romeo have many similarities, however, there are also
some differences. They both fall in love with a girl from a totally different
social group. Both of the men are in groups that are rivals of the group
that their lover is in. When Romeo confides in his friend the Friar, and
Tony to the candy store owner, both men have a similar reaction but
agree to help in any way possible. When Romeo gets married to Juliet,
the Friar marries them. When Tony marries Maria, they say their vows to
each other, with nobody else around. Also, in Romeo and Juliet, the Friar
works out the plan for them to be together. In Westside Story, it is Maria
and Tony the make up the plan. At the end of A Westside Story Tony is
killed by Chino, who is compared to Paris. However, in Romeo and Juliet
it is Romeo who kills Paris.
Maria, of Westside Story, is also much like Juliet. However, there
are more differences between Juliet and Maria, than there are between
Romeo and Tony. Maria, instead of having a nurse, has her friend, Anita,
who helped her through her youth. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet fakes her
death by drinking a potion given to her by the Friar, and awaits Romeo in
the family tomb. In Westside Story, Maria becomes angry, because she
is told that Tony was killed by Chino; when in fact, Tony was still alive.
When Maria heard the news of Tony s death, she went looking for Chino
to kill her, too. To Maria s surprise, while she is searching the streets for
Chino, she finds Tony, who is then shot and killed by Chino. The biggest
difference between Maria and Juliet, is that in the end of Romeo and
Juliet, Juliet commits suicide when she finds Romeo dead. Whereas, in
Westside Story, Maria is never killed. She does, however, plead to be
killed also, so she could be with Tony, as well as, threatening to kill all the
men that had anything to do with the violence.
The other comparable characters were harder to notice the
differences because they did not have such large parts. However, there
are still major differences and similarities. Riff, being compared to
Mercutio, was sort of the leader. He was also the first to be killed within
the gang. Bernardo, being compared to Tybalt, had a hot temper, and
became violent easily. Bernardo was Maria s cousin, and Tybalt was
Juliet s cousin. Bernardo was killed in the rumble, and so was Tybalt.
Finally, there are many comparisons and contrasts between the
two plays. Between characters, as well as plot. Although some of them
are very small, they make the two very much different.