William Shakespeare’s drama, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is about a young and passionate teenager who goes against his family to marry his lover.
The film, West Side Story, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, is a film about a former gang member who wants to live a meaningful life and find true love. Although West Side Story is highly based off Shakespeare’s drama, both are different in their ways. Romeo and Tony are completely different characters because Tony is logical, while Romeo is emotional, but they both show romance to their lovers.
Tony shows the more logical side of himself in West Side Story by being loyal and taking things in a steady pace with Maria. His actions show that he is more mature than Romeo because he decides to leave the one thing, he is wisest and familiar with: The Jets. Tony leaves the Jets to build a better reputation and to eventually have a successful adulthood. Once he realizes his love for Maria, he understands that he must keep her safe and stop the fight. This act shows he is logical and loyal because he tries to keep his promise to Maria, but it doesn’t end up the way she wants it to. After the accident, Maria is left without her lover. Tony is more logical than Romeo because he chooses to make decisions that will be best for him in the long run.
Romeo is a very emotional character because he is a teenager who clearly cannot make up his mind. The young Montague is immature and emotional because he tends to throw many unnecessary fits. “There is no world without Verona walls, / But purgatory, torture, hell itself / Hence banishéd is banishéd form the world and worlds exile is death. Then “banishéd”. This quote states that there is no life without Verona, there is no life without Juliet. He’s implying that the only thing he wants in life is Juliet. He shows in many ways that he is immature. He easily leaves Rosaline for a young girl who he barley knows. Friar Lawrence tries to negotiate with him, but Romeo doesn’t understand why they won’t kill him instead. Romeo is an emotional and immature teenager because he cannot comprehend simple decisions that are for his own good.
Although Tony and Romeo are very different characters, both teenagers enjoy expressing their heartfelt emotions to their lovers. Tony shows his love to Maria by trying to stop the fight between the Sharks and Jets. He also expresses his love for Maria by showing up to the fire exit by her apartment. By these actions, it is obvious that he is in love with her. This simple emotion shows how much he wants to love and care for Maria. Lastly, he expresses his love by not caring that Maria’s older brother, Bernardo, if the leader of the Sharks. His intention is to have a joyful relationship. Romeo shows his passion for Juliet by sacrificing his life in order to be with her again. Although this decision is a disaster, he proves he is loyal and will not go on to live the rest of his life without her. In the drama, he foreshadows to Balthasar that he will be with Juliet forever. For example, “So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that, / Live and be prosperous, and farewell good fellow. Lastly, he shows affection for Juliet by saying he will try to keep in touch with her. Both Tony and Romeo express their undying love for their soulmates by trying their best to satisfy them.
In conclusion, both the film and drama show many differences and similarities through their male leads. Romeo is an emotional teenager that cannot comprehend simple things. Tony is a logical teenager who cares about his values and his future. Both characters are extremely different, but both want one thing in life, true happiness.