How can I improve my comparative essay? I am currently brainstorming ideas for a comparative essay we are required to write. We just finished reading Romeo and Juliet and now have to pick a song/...

How can I improve my comparative essay?

I am currently brainstorming ideas for a comparative essay we are required to write. We just finished reading Romeo and Juliet and now have to pick a song/ poem to compare to the play. I decided to do "Stan" by Eminem (you can find the lyrics online). Although not directly related to the story itself, both share the common theme of infatuation, and essentially their obsession keeps the protagonist alive (Stan and Romeo). First, what do you think about this idea anything you would change? Any specific areas of the text you think would be good to relate to it (think deep)? In addition, are you familiar with any statement of truths or catchy saying for the hook at the beginning (An emotion so intense it can hijack your sanity???) not really related to my theme? 

Expert Answers
holfie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very interesting choice for a comparison.  There are two main intersections between the song and the play that would make for a strong essay (in my opinion).  First, the quick escalation of the fan's emotions in "Stan" and his rapid descent into drastic action parallels that of Romeo and Juliet.  In the span of a few days, Romeo and Juliet propel from an innocent meeting between two young lovers to faking suicide, drinking poison, and murdering in the name of love.  

The other main parallel between the two texts is how miscommunication ends in disaster.  In "Stan," the fact that Eminem/Slim Shady's letter doesn't arrive in time leads the fan to jump to conclusions and execute a drastic plan.  Likewise, the fact that Friar Lawrence's letter does not arrive in Romeo's hands in time leads him to kill himself.

In terms of a hook, I might center on the vivid images from both.  Something like this: An incensed fan drives his pregnant girlfriend off a bridge.  A young aristocrat kills himself after "learning" that his wife is dead.  In both "Stan" and Romeo and Juliet, miscommunication and the quick escalation of feelings have fatal results.

 

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Romeo and Juliet

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