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Romeo & Juliet: A Bad Relationship Model?

Romeo & Juliet: A Bad Relationship Model?

Romeo, Romeo, how could you possibly fall so hard for that girl, Romeo?! In this post, Sparkler Etoile_Fille takes a closer look at what exactly constitutes the "love" between Romeo and Juliet. Enjoy! —SparkNotes Editors

When I read "Romeo and Juliet" for the first time a few months ago, I will admit I found it somewhat disappointing. There has always been so much hype about the story, and in my head I assumed that it would live up to what everybody said. I was expecting a plot that lasted more than a few days, mature characters, and mushy dialogue about love.

What I got was a 12-year-old and a whiny teen making out two minutes after meeting each other for the first time. For me, it was a letdown. (What about true love?!)

Shortly after I read the play, SparkLife came out with Ten MORE Books That Drive Students Nuts, which included "Romeo and Juliet." Some Sparklers got into a fiery debate about whether the classic deserved a spot on the list. This got me thinking about both sides of the argument (I am still undecided):

R&J: It was true love

  • In the prologue, the chorus calls Romeo and Juliet “star-crossed lovers,” which could indicate that fate destined the pair to be lovers. You don’t mess around with fate.
  • They were willing to die for each other, which is pretty remarkable.
  • Romeo and Juliet saw past their last names, and in the end overcame the challenge of their feuding families. (Love can overcome all obstacles… right?)
  • It’s a fictional play! Anything can happen, including love at first sight.

R&J: Lusty teens

  • Romeo and Juliet are too young to know what love is.
  • The couple didn’t even know each other’s names before they swore their love. They didn't really know each other, which meant what they were feeling was lust, not love.
  • Their marriage was just a teen rebellion against their families.
  • Romeo was desperately “in love” with Rosaline, and then begins to “love” Juliet without as much as a second thought. Romeo confuses physical attraction with love.

Did Etoile_Fille forget anything? What are your opinions? Were R&J meant to be, or merely “in love with the idea of being in love?"

Topics: Books
Tags: sparkler posts, relationships, romeo and juliet, today in books, shakespeare

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