I have to tell everyone that the greatest romance is not, in fact, the greatest romance. This is basically me explaining the book and how R&J’s relationship isn’t as romantic as it seems.
I’ve read Romeo and Juliet many times this year, first for school, and the other times for fun! Romeo and Juliet is my second favorite Shakespeare play, but not for the reasons you’d expect.
When people hear “Romeo and Juliet” they usually think of true love and romance. They associate it with a swoon-worthy love story and wish that they themselves had the ‘perfect romance,’ just like Romeo and Juliet’s. It’s known as a great love story and many people want to find the “Romeo to their Juliet” or the “Juliet to their Romeo.” Romeo and Juliet is not a swoon-worthy story but a warning. It’s a TRAGEDY, not a romance. Let’s get into the story, shall we?
We begin Romeo and Juliet with a chorus, who tells you EXACTLY what’s going to happen.
Servants from the Montague house and the Capulet house enter, setting the story with their strife. After a small fight (nothing to worry about) Romeo Montague enters, sad and lovesick. His crush doesn’t like him back! Romeo’s age is unknown, but most people believe he is sixteen.
Enter Juliet, a thirteen (almost fourteen!) girl of the Capulet enters, and her mother, Lady Capulet, informs her that she is to be wed to Paris, a wealthy nobleman. (???) Juliet reaaaaaallllllly doesn’t want to marry Paris, because she ‘wants to marry for love,’ but she agrees to marry him if her parents want her to. Also, the nurse is one of the best characters in the book.
Next, Romeo and his friends sneak into a Capulet house party. Tybalt is suspicious of them, and explains his doubts to Lord Capulet, who waves him off and calls him a saucy boii. Romeo meets Juliet. AHHHHHHh THEy’RE In LOoOoOoVe! They flirt a bit and then KISS. TWICE. (After speaking a SUPER romantic sonnet to each other) They’ve known each other barely ten minutes, mind you. They part ways after being perfectly interrupted by Nurse.
Romeo finds himself SO LOVESICK that he climbs a wall and sneaks into her garden, waiting under her balcony. “Can I go forward if my heart is here” (Shakespeare, 65)?
ENTER JULIET IN HER BALCONY! Romeo’s words: “But what soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief that thou, her maid, art more fair than she. Be not her maid since she is envious” (70). He’s saying: she’s so beautiful that even Diana, goddess of the moon, is jealous.
He speaks a while longer, when Juliet makes her first heard words in the scene. “Ay me.”
Romeo goes into another lovesick rant.
AND HERE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ARE SOME OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN WORDS OF ALL TIME. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”
(btw, I have a better version, which I quote quite often and stick into my books at LEAST 50 times: Pinocchio, Pinocchio, wherefore art thou Pinocchio? It’s to call someone a liar.)
Romeo freaks out, wondering if he should talk. And he does. They swear their love for each other. This goes on and on throughout the book.
Eventually, Romeo goes to Friar Lawrence, one of the only rational characters. He’s confused because, wasn’t Romeo just in love with Rosaline two days ago? Yes, he was, Friar.
Oh yeah somewhere in here they get married.
A little while later, a fight breaks out between the Montagues and Mercutio is killed. (NOooOoo!) Romeo pursues the killer to get revenge. He kills Tybalt and is banished from the city.
When Juliet hears the news, she goes utterly INSANE, crying and crying and CRYING. Poor Juliet, she just lost her cousin, of course she’s upset.
She’s crying over
Other stuff happens but they decide they need to be together. Uh oh. She’s supposed to marry Paris, but she’s already married Romeo! Oops. So they come up with a clever plan to get Juliet killed. Not actually killed, but Loki killed. Fake killed, but there’s a body. Sleeping Beauty. Snow White.
So she pretends to die and they have her funeral immediately. Word is sent to Romeo (who is still banished) to meet Friar at the tomb to wake Juliet.
The letter never gets to Romeo. Only the news of her death. He races back and breaks into the tomb, after killing Paris. Romeo finds Juliet, cries and speaks a bunch, pulls poison from his pocket, and
Juliet wakes up mere seconds later, sees Romeo dead, CURSES him for not leaving her poison, (seriously? show some respect!) stabs herself, and
The two families make up after their deaths.
That took longer than expected, but there’s something very important you need to know.
All this? The drama? It all happened in the span of a week.
Now, looking back at all that, IS IT STILL A PERFECT LOVE STORY? Do you want your life to unfold this dramatically? What do you think?
Conclusions I draw from the story: I believe this is supposed to remind young people to take things slow and seriously and not get whipped up in *fEeLiNgS* It has relevance to today’s social structure, which puts an emphasis on “love.” If I dove deeper into this (and called up the memories of last year’s lecture on this) I could go on for several more decades.
But I really want to know what y’all think!
But, if you want your boyfriend to be ‘the romeo to your juliet,’ (or your girlfriend to be the juliet to your romeo… whatever) go ahead. Just know you ACTUALLY mean you want your relationship to be as hormone-filled, crazy-insane mistake which ultimately costs your life.
DO YOU WANNA ADD ANYTHING?