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English Studies Essay

1092 words - 5 pages

Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, West Side story is a blockbuster musical film of its time, and is a modern day appropriation of the timeless classic tale of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The characters in these world renowned texts portray elements of utilising the character functions in the modern day west side story as a reflection of those in Romeo and Juliet in the Elizabethan strain of the play. The characters I have chosen to replicate to you all today is the West side story Doc as a modern expression of Friar Laurence in the famous Romeo and Juliet.
Friar Laurence is perceived as a man, whom to Romeo looks at as a father figure, and adviser. Friar is a ...view middle of the document...

After the confession of the mishap of deaths, the prince still refers to him as a ‘holy man’. Whereas the Doc, although he is a man of good will and stands for his society, the rival gang, the ‘jets’ defy authority to him throughout the film. For example, the particular scene of the meeting between the jets’s and sharks at the candy store. The Doc tries to persuade them not to go ahead with these feasible fights, the boys of the jet’s gang tell him to stay out of it, shrieking to the Doc, ‘Doc set em up, cokes all round, now kick it” ignoring the fact that he was merely trying to prevent the outcomes that ended occurring.
Both characters reflect their context. Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet reproduces the Elizabethan era as his main character role is a holy priest, this is reflective of that era as religion was of vast value, the time of the Renaissance a major religious, scientifical and magical transformation. In evidence of that, Friar was also a man who was an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs, showing the relation between the Elizabethan era as it was a period of experimentation with medicine and magic, for example early scientists such as Robert Fludd characterize those ideals of Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet as he was the man who conducted the potion for Romeo. The Friar’s values and attitudes towards society are through the right and wrong of people, a lot of his speech throughout Romeo and Juliet contain a lot of philosophical content, for example; act Two scene 3, friar is picking flowers in his garden, he reflects upon the dual nature of plants and people, in that both have potential to be good and evil, verifying that Friar values the nature, causes and principles of reality through humanity.
The 1950’s, the creation of west side story, a time of revolution for the social culture for the United States, is reflective through the Doc’s character role as teenagers began to flout authority, excited to exercise their freedom and values testing the boundaries of what society believed, wrong or right. The Doc was a character who detested the rivalry between these...

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