Romeo And Juliet Is Not A Love Story

1194 words - 5 pages

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a Renaissance poet and playwright who wrote and published the original versions of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, and often called England’s national poet. Several of his works became extremely well known, thoroughly studied, and enjoyed all over the world. One of Shakespeare’s most prominent plays is titled The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. In this tragedy, the concept that is discussed and portrayed through the characters is love, as they are recognized as being “in love”. The general umbrella of love encompasses various kinds of love such as romantic love, the love of a parent for a child, love of one’s country, and several others. What is common to all love is this: Your own well-being is tied up with that of someone (or something) you love… When love is not present, changes in other people’s well being do not, in general, change your own… Being ‘in love’ infatuation is an intense state that displays similar features: … and finding everyone charming and nice, and thinking they all must sense one’s happiness. At first glance it seems as though Shakespeare advocates the hasty, hormone-driven passion portrayed by the protagonists, Romeo and Juliet; however, when viewed from a more modern, North-American perspective, it seems as though Shakespeare was not in fact endorsing it, but mocking the public’s superficial perception of love. Shakespeare’s criticism of the teens’ young and hasty love is portrayed in various instances of the play, including Romeo’s shallow, flip-flop love for Rosaline then Juliet, and his fights with Juliet’s family. Also, the consequence of hurried love is shown through Juliet’s disregard of any possibilities in her life, and is stuck between the two narrowed down options of marrying Romeo or killing herself; this supposed love leads Juliet to be stuck in fallacious thinking and false dichotomies.
It is evident that Shakespeare was not provoking, but criticizing, the reckless romance between Romeo and Juliet due to his representation of Romeo’s thoughtless, quick and superficial love change. Before the Capulet’s party, Romeo was in love with Rosaline, and was always depressed and extremely saddened by the fact that she didn’t love him back even though they have never spoken to each other. “Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like a thorn” (1.4.26-27). This passage clearly shows the grief he was feeling due to the fact that Rosaline, his “love”, didn’t love him back. Although it is almost definite that he will grief over Rosaline for the rest of his life; however, after going to the Capulet house for a party, he fell in “love” again with—this time to a different young lady—Juliet. In real, rational love, it is extremely difficult for one to forget about their partner making it intricate to “move on”...

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