San Jose State University Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story Analysis

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You will look at a classic play and a contemporary re-telling, reinterpretation, or spin-off of it. This essay requires a critical analysis of BOTH plays. This paper is 1200-1500 words. Please double-space and use 12 point font. INCLUDE word count.

In this paper you need to:

1. Have a thesis!

2. For the classic play, address:

    • Who was the playwright and why did they write it?
    • How does this play reflect the issues of the time of when it was written.
    • What are the core themes?

3. For the contemporary play, address:

    • Who is the new playwright and why did they rework the original play?
    • When was this version written and how does it reflect the issues of those times.
    • What additional themes come up in the retelling?

4. Compare and contrast:

How are the works similar and how are they different? Are there major changes to the plot or characters? Discuss at least one character common to both plays. Compare and contrast the tone (example: one is a comedy and one is a tragedy) and the style of the plays (example one is in verse and the other is not/. or one is a musical). Discuss commonalities and differences in the themes and their relevance.

Finally, does the contemporary retelling stand alone? Or do you think you need to know the original in order to appreciate the new play? Which do you prefer and why?

5. Have a conclusion.

You MUST use quotes from BOTH plays to support your statements.

here is the classic play

Romeo and Juliet – The Folger SHAKESPEARE

here is the contemporary play

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