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Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,539 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The tragedy of love thwarted by fate has always intrigued writers.In the sixteenth century, William Shakespeare took this theme and fashioned one of the world's great plays: Romeo And Juliet.In our own time, Shakespeare's drama has been used as a basis for the overwhelmingly successful musical play West Side Story.Though one of these works is set among the nobility of Vero ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 15th 1965 by Laurel Leaf
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,122)
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Kathleen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly
I really don't like Shakespeare. I really, really don't. I also think that Romeo and Juliet are unfathomably stupid characters, and although I applaud Shakespeare for creating such a well-loved and often repeated plot, you would have to pay me to read it again. I read it voluntarily, not for school, and I don't think I will ever change my feelings about it. As for West Side story, it isn't that special. I'm usually a fan of modern adaptations, but I'm not feeling this one.
Georgina
This book was realllyyyy hard to read, and it really dragged on when we read it in class. Has shakespeare ever heard of action?? Really boring and i didnt like it. In the beginning it was ok but it's just too long.
The film is soooooo much better.. it's really sad aswell and i rly like the way they modernised it
Kellie
In the immortal words of Junie B. Jones - Wowie wow wow!!! on Romeo and Juliet. Even though I had to re-read some passages 4-5 times and STILL couldn't figure out what Shakespeare was saying, I LOVED this play. The writing was so absolutely beautiful in spots I had to re-read those just because it was so uplifting. I found myself wanting to know what happened (anyone know where I was in High School??) even though I knew the ultimate end. I didn't love West Side Story. Maybe the music helps this ...more
Carly
I love Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and pairing it with West Side Story makes this book so much more special. I know Shakespeare is difficult for a lot of people (me included), but if you really do try to get a feel for the story and pay attention to the main themes, you'll love it.
Remember that Shakespeare had his audience in mind when he wrote his plays: he knew there would be people who wouldn't grasp things right away, or that his audiences could get too loud and rowdy and miss something
...more
Sanne
It's great to have those two stories in one book, especially if, like me, wanting to compare the two. On top of this, musical theatre libretti are usually rare, so it is special to have the one for West Side Story together with its most important source.
Looney Lovegood
You know, I think it would be amazingly fun to play as Mercutio. The part isn't terribly gender oriented, so that makes it easy on me. :D and he has the funnier lines. "Blind Bow-Boy's Butt-Shaft"? Come on, you gotta laugh. Hard. :D
Ron Christiansen
Only read Romeo and Juliet (most of it)--preparation for seeing the play with my family at the Shakespeare Festival. As always his play cut deep, maintain relevance in uncanny ways, and, of course, the beauty of the language.
Mikael
this book brought together my love of period elizabethan drama and flamboyant musicals . period
Safar Alajmi
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Jazzy Lemon
Beautiful, lyrical, magical. Shakespeare has spun this wonderful tragical world of star-crossed lovers and Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim have re-spun the words into a modern re-telling. They weren't the first, and certainly won't be the last.

Romeo sighs, this girl has stolen his heart. He climbs up to her balcony.
Tony wanders the streets in a dream, and then ascends Maria's fire escape.

How fitting that the poetic words that flowed from Shakespeare's pe
...more
Almira
great comparative edition. 50 years old. great notes!
Roberto
Mar 20, 2009 Roberto rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kyle Garcia (but I think he read it already)
Recommended to Roberto by: Nora Fritsch
I really liked having the Shakespearean classic tragedy and the musical based off of it in the same book. I got to see the parallels more clearly and I loved reading the songs in the book. The stage directions and character insights were well done. Putting the two respective classics side by side strengthens the fact that the story repeats through out time.
Katie Bailey
read it in the 9th grade class i student teach.i read it 4 times by the end of the unit, got better every time. mercutio is a cad, and there were some fantabulous ways of insulting people back in the day. will you walk with me you onion-eyed pox-crusted dogfish?!
Mister
Back in the good ole dayz of 9th grade, our teacher showed us this hip urban video with captions of West Side Story in order to prep us to try to read Romeo & Juliet so we can compare and contrast the urban realities with the classical age.
Eyehavenofilter
We all know where West Side Story came from, or do we? This is a great introduction to how that process happened, and can open doors for young people to enjoy the writings of one of the worlds great writers. I'm all for that!
Carla Jean
I haven't read R&J in years, but I love the language. I have to confess I've never read West Side STory, but I'm marking this as read anyway because the reason I bought it was R&J. I do need to fix that, though. Someday...
Geneva
Have finished West Side Story, sang along and read it while i watched the movie (it's a transcript). Have yet to read Romeo and Juliet. I blame that on the 9th grade English class i missed when i changed schools.
Melee
The rating is mainly for the West Side Story half. Romeo and Juliet is nowhere near being my favourite of Shakespeare's plays, but my favourite musical is and always will be West Side Story!
Emily
AMAZING.
EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT. WATCH IT, LISTEN TO IT. NOW.
WEST SIDE STORY IS AMAZING, SO IS ROMEO AND JULIET. READ IT NOW. I GIVE IT 5 MILLION STARS!
TONY + MARIA = FOREVER <3 (AND ROMEO + JULIET :)
Ashti
I love West Side Story and it made me love Romeo and Juliet's storyline and made it easier for me to understand it !!!

One of the few Shakepearean classics that i like!!!

Tee Hee
Sarah
I really don't see what the big deal about this story is. Why is it so famous? So many died! I was surprised that Juliet was fourteen, I had thought she was older.
Cami
I read this in my youth BEFORE I knew they were the same story. It opened my eyes to the timelessness of the story of the power and intensity of teenage romance.
Bella
Meh. Romeo and Juliet isn't my favourite really. West side story i didn't enjoy too much either. Studying them was fun but i wouldn't re-read them.
Kati
I had some trouble really getting into it (I only read Romeo & Juliet). We went to Shakespeare in the Park and that was really fun!
Taylor
romeo and juliet was boring! no offence teachers, but it dragged on, and it was confusing! i took like more then a month to read!
Kristen
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and "West Side Story" were read for High School Freshman English.
Holly Lindquist
I liked the Shakespeare a great deal more than West Side Story, but it was nice to compare the two works side by side.
BookDigger
I have only read Romeo and Juliet as of right now. (it's the only one that was closest to the play I've read.)
Sarah
I've also seen both preformed on stage. These are two of the greatest love stories of all time if you ask me.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello

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