Romeo and Juliet/ West Side Story Final

What is the main cause for conflict between the Jets and the Sharks? In West Side Story the two rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks have many arguments and battles. The main cause for the conflicts is fighting for territory. The two gangs each want turf and can’t peacefully decide who gets what area. Which causes fights and essentially a gang war.
Compare how Tony and Maria met VS. how Romeo and Juliet met. In Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story we have tales of forbidden love. The mood was happy when these couples met. They both met at a special dance. However Romeo and Juliet met at a dance where young Juliet was supposed to find a good suitor. Romeo came without being properly invited. The two never got caught together at the dance. They never even danced, they met secretly while everyone’s attention was in the center of the dance floor. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, in West Side Story Tony and Maria meet at a public place for the dance. Both gangs are there. It is in a neutral location rather than in the home of one of the lovers. Unlike Romeo and Juliet Tony and Maria are caught dancing by Bernardo. He quickly makes them part ways.
Compare the fight scenes in each play. Be specific and use names to explain how eachfight played out? In both stories there was a large fight that ended in tragic deaths. In Romeo and Juliet. The fight involved Romeo, Mercutio who happens to be Romeo’s good friend, and Tybalt Lady Juliet’s cousin. Mercutio is killed by Tybalt while Romeo is keeping Mercutio from fighting. This angers Romeo to the point of hastiness. Romeo kills Tybalt. This creates conflict. Juliet’s husband has killed her cousin leaving her in a tough spot. Similarly in West Side Story Tony is with his friend Riff, and their enemy who is Maria’s brother, Bernardo is also present. As Tony tell’s riff to stop, Riff is stabbed by Bernardo. Leaving Tony angry and hateful so to achieve vengeance he kills Bernardo. In West SIde Story the choice of what side to pick must be harder for Maria because her husband killed her very own brother whom she has grown up with not just a distant cousin.
Compare and Contrast the Endings in both plays. Both plays end with very shocking and dramatic endings. Each more painful in their own ways. In Romeo and Juliet the lovers both die due to suicide. This makes a bigger impact on the families because they realize they drove the two young lover to choose death. In West Side Story only Tony gets shot by Chino leaving Maria alone and sad. This hurts both gangs knowing that they killed an innocent person who was just fighting for love and he wanted peace. The endings are the same however in the fact that both families in Romeo and Juliet, and both gangs in West Side story come together and at least for a while end their feud. They both carry the dead lover(s) out as a big group rather than two separate enemies.
Choose 2 songs from West Side Story. For each, explain WHO sings it and WHY theysing it? “Something’s coming” is sung by Tony. He feels like he is almost to a breaking point in his life. He reaches out each night feeling as if he is almost touching something amazing. In this song he explains these feelings and shares that he doesn’t know what’s coming just that something big is right around the corner. “Gee, Officer Krupke” is the song sung by the Jet boys. They share how the came into this world. Without good homes, lousy parents, and no hope for a good future. This song makes the audience and Officer Krupke feel for the boys rather than hate them for their violence.
Choose 2 themes present in both Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. First, statethe theme. Then give at least 2 examples from each play that show how this theme isdisplayed. The first them found both in Romeo and Juliet and also West Side Story is Love versus Infatuation. In Romeo and Juliet they share a kiss before even asking what the others last name is. This shows they are not in love they are only infatuated with the other’s beauty. Another example is when Romeo and Juliet plan to get married before having any real dates. They are clearly not in love considering they barely know each other. In West Side Story Tony and Maria also have difficulties telling the difference between infatuation and love. Tony and Maria are clearly drawn together by one’s beauty after the dance they claim they can’t be separated even though they have barely spoken a few words. Tony also gives it away that they are only infatuated with each other. He sings a whole song about Maria yet the only good thing he can talk about is the sound of her name. Another theme present both in Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story is hastiness. In Romeo and Juliet they two young lovers get married after their second time seeing each other. That is very quick and would not even have been enough time to get to know one another. The biggest example of hastiness however is the two young lovers suicides. They both could have been prevented had Romeo calmed down and not immediately killed himself after seeing Juliet’s “lifeless” body. In West Side story Tony and Maria also get married suddenly. Again, this is not enough time to truly get to know each other. The musical also shows hastiness when Tony runs out of Doc’s basement screaming “Come get me too Chino.” He heard of Maria’s death and made a stupid impulsive decision to try and get murdered.

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