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Contrast of Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story Essay submitted by Bob Garrard Three Hundred Fifty Years of Blind Love A Contraposition of Shakespeare and Robbins Romeo and Juliet Andy Warhol once said They say that time changes things but actually you have to change them yourself Two hundred fifty years passed between the original Romeo and Juliet and the premiere of West Side Story on Broadway in 1957 However time did not change the message of the story simply the creators unique visions evolved Shakespeares delivery of the timeless tale of desperate love in his classic Romeo and Juliet proves to only intensify through retelling and modern interpretation Audiences cherish Romeo and Juliet as one of the most beloved plays of all time from the Elizabethan Age to the present Romeo and Juliet have attained the role as the quintessential lovers and the noun a Romeo is synonymous with lover Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet is closely based on Arthur Brookes tale The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet The language attitudes and customs detailed in the play are generally English in spite of Brookes original Italian setting In 1949 choreographer Jerome Robbins decided to retell Brooke and Shakespeares romantic tragedy using song and dance elements of racism and nationalism and a modern vernacular Robbins called upon the musical talents of composer Leonard Bernstein and the words of Arthur Laurents for the script and book The love story proved to have universal appeal throughout all artistic forms as it had already been adjusted for opera and ballet The contemporary adaptation of this timeless classic alters details and deepens the message of hatred but maintains Brooke and Shakespeares vision The relationships between the characters plot sequence and theme of hatred in West Side Story and Romeo and
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