English 9 Regents: Critical Lens Essay- Irrational Hate (Romeo and Juliet)

Irrational Hate

In both William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet and Jerome Robbins’ musical West Side Story, two feuding groups display irrational hatred toward one another.  While all hatred may be considered “irrational”, there seems to be no known cause for the animosity other than one group simply does not like the other.

Your Task:  Provide a valid interpretation of the critical lens below, and demonstrate how both Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet and Jerome Robbins’ musical West Side Story support the main idea of the critical lens. How does the universal theme of irrational hate play an important role in the plot of both the tragedy and the musical?  How does Robbins carry this theme further in his presentation? How does irrational hate still play a role in real-life events today?

Critical Lens:            

“Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”      — Richard M. Nixon

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Regents

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