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Rock Street, San Francisco

Jaeden Augustine
Mr. Johnson
English 1 H
3 December 2017
Romeo and Juliet Through the Years
The tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet” has been adapted and reenacted in numerous of ways. The story’s plot has somewhat turned into the basis of today’s typical love story. But even throughout these many slight changes to the story some adaptations stay relevant and have etched themselves into the history of entertainment which has kept the play alive even in this day and age.
In 1961 the film “West Side Story” came out. This movie was about two rival gangs in Manhattan, the Sharks and the Jets. At a highschool dance Tony, who was the leader of the Jets, meets a girl named Maria, who is the sister of the Sharks’ leader, and instantly falls in love with her. But during a gang fight Tony kills Maria’s brother Bernardo to avenge his friend Riff. This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet gives the story a more modern look for the time it came out.
In 1996 the film “Romeo + Juliet” came out. This movie was a way more modern version of the story. It took place in a city called “Verona Beach” much like original setting of Verona. . In 1996 technology was on the rise and the culture was completely different. With this came a lot of differences in film production compared to “West Side Story”. Guns, explosions and cars were added to the film and it was no longer taken place in the renaissance era, making it perfect for the time period which had moved on from the past.
In 2011 the film Gnomeo and Juliet released. It was an animated version of the play and instead of people being used it was garden gnomes. This version brings the story of “Romeo and Juliet” to the attention of the youth. It was brought on with family-friendly trailers and was more appealing to the younger audience.
The story of “Romeo and Juliet” has stayed relevant even after hundreds of years do to all of these reenactments. Every ten to twenty years or so, a new idea is brought up based off of Shakespeare’s writing. these ideas due to technology and pop culture turn into a form of entertainment for billions of people around the world. The story also has a universal appeal to it. For something that was wrote hundreds of years ago it seems so ahead of it’s time because people still relate to it today.

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