Were Romeo and Juliet really in love?
“Romeo and Juliet” is a tale of misunderstood youths who fall in ‘love.’ Romeo and Juliet undoubtedly believed they were in love. Circumstances surrounding their unprecedented meeting, individual lives, call into question the validity of their love. To the rest of their world Romeo and Juliet’s connection seems superficial. Their age and immaturity leads the protagonists to the misconception that their love is monumental and unique. A complex combination of circumstances, fate and the protagonists themselves, ultimately contribute to the most controversial question ever asked in one of Shakespeare’s most famous works.
Romeo and Juliet’s love for one another is proclaimed throughout the play. Their love is contrasted against the rest of their community which is plagued by conflict between their parents. Shakespeare notes that the youth’s judgement is clouded by their immaturity. Romeo is hopelessly devoted to Rosaline, and then conversely shifts his adoration to Juliet. “That beauty for which love groaned and would die, with now tender Juliet matched is now not beautiful. Now Romeo is beloved and loves again.” The alluding significance is that Romeo is in love with the idea of love. “Did my heart love till now? Foreswear it sight, for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night. This queries the authenticity of his love for Juliet, his ability to love is almost diminished because Romeo’s judgement is clouded by his immaturity and passion.
Significantly both protagonists make sacrifices for each other in order to pursue their passion. However sacrifices made by the youths in turn benefit themselves, conflicting the value of the sacrifice. Juliet is willing to live in Mantua with her beloved, in standards she is unaccustomed to as man and wife. This sacrifice at her own expense is of no detriment to her, she is able to fulfil her own selfish desire of not marrying Paris and having the feud not affect her relationship. “I think you are happy in this second match, for it excels your first, or if it did, not your first is dead. Or there as good as he were, as living here and you no use of him.” The motivation for her actions challenges the very meaning of the word sacrifice, and instead is made an example by Shakespeare as to what happens when love is selfish. This ultimately explains that Romeo and Juliet’s connection is purely passion, misconceptions and immaturity.
Whilst love is debatable between the protagonists, passion is apparent. In spite of their age, Romeo and Juliet lurch forward at the prospect of love. Amid the perpetuating feud the pair fall in love and make some questionable hasty decisions. The protagonists are convinced that their passion, along with a combination of adrenaline, and convenience is really love.
The pair’s emotions are heightened due to the escalating feud. Both Romeo and Juliet know that being together is wrong, both seem to enjoy the adrenaline rush of sneaking around...