Romeo and Juliet

romeojulia

When people are asked which is the most famous couple in history, most will say Romeo and Juliet.  What do we know about this pair of tragic lovers?  We know that their families hated each other, and somehow they fell in love after a chance encounter at a party hosted by Juliet’s father.  We have a 13-year-old sheltered girl and a rambunctious 17-year-old boy running into each other and instantly falling in love.  Whether one believes in love at first sight, these two kids had issues that lead to their untimely ending.  With one look, Romeo falls so love with Juliet and forgets that he was pinning for another just 2 minutes before.  Juliet is a very sheltered girl enjoying her very first party and sees that a group of Montagues have crashed the party.  She is attracted to this bad boy, and is excited by his ability to break rules.  They meet briefly and exchange poetic compliments and say they will be married and live happily ever after.  The two misguidedly give no thought as to how their families would take such an announcement.  Then Romeo goes out with his boys and gets into a fight with Juliet’s cousin.  He loved his girl so much he gets into a fight with her cousin to save face with his boys and ends up losing his best friend and killing said cousin.  After that he has to run or go to jail.  Before going into exile, he talks to his priest and begs him to find a way to help him and Juliet still get married.  The priest agrees to help, but he doesn’t say how he will help.  Romeo goes into exile blindly trusting in fate and his priest to work everything out.  Juliet on the other hand is faced with the decision of loving her cousin’s killer or marring a man her father picked for her all at the tender age of 13.  Juliet defies her father and presents herself to the priest that Romeo trusts and demands that he help her get out of this forced marriage or she will kill herself in front of him.  The priest calms her dramatic cries and gives her a plan that will help both of the young lovers.  A potion to mimic death followed by the missed message leading to the dramatic double suicide.  The moral is that the hatred of the two families brought about this tragedy, but I wonder if the two would have met and fallen in love if the families were not at war with each other.  Romeo is found to be fickle in his affection which is proven by his disregarding of Rosaline after seeing Juliet.  Juliet is a very young girl in the midst of her first crush.  Not many 13-year-old girls know who they are going to spend the rest of their lives with.  They want each other because they can’t have each other and their obsession leads to their suicide.  Not very romantic when you look at all the factors, which is why Shakespeare labeled this play a tragedy not a romance.

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