About 420 years ago, Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. To this day, no other relationship in literature has been able to parallel that of Romeo and Juliet. The bond that these “star-crossed lovers” (Prologue line 6) engage in leads them on a whirlwind romance that ends in tragedy. Their time spent together may have been short, but every moment they spent together was in pure bliss of one another’s presence. It is through these few meetings where they express their love for one another that we come to find their relationship to be the most ideal love one could hope to model.
Their relationship is not one that is drawn out. The young lovers only meet four times- the party, post party balcony scene, when they are married, and when Romeo must leave Juliet for Mantua. However, their only speaking scenes are at the party and both times at her balcony.
So when the two do speak, their dialogue is filled with emotion and urgency to express them. It is their lack of time together that makes the time they do have more precious and meaningful. During their meetings is where we see their relationship build through conversation.
Romeo first encounters Juliet at her family’s party. He sees her from afar and claims she is the most beautiful thing his eyes have ever seen. He declares that she shines so bright that she is the one who teaches torches how to burn. He also claims her to stick out from all the other women who he compares to crows: “So shows a snowy dove trooping with the crows”. He continues to glorify her beauty by dismissing his previous notions of what he claimed to be beautiful. At this point, Romeo has fallen in love with her at first sight. He then pursues Juliet and begins a conversation with her:
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. (1.5.94-97)
During these few lines, Romeo compares Juliet to a shrine and that he has committed a sin by touching his hand to hers. He suggests that his lips are like pilgrims who will smooth his rough touch. Juliet responds that it would be alright for him to kiss her, seeing that pilgrims pray “palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss” (1.5.101). Finally Romeo asks to kiss Juliet, in which she obliges his request. Romeo says he has sinned in kissing her and must kiss her again to take back his sin. It is during this conversation that the two create a sonnet within their dialogue. Fourteen lines of sweet innocent flirting that bind the couple as well as the audience into the beginning of their relationship.
Upon their next encounter, Romeo sneaks into the Capulet orchard where he moves towards the house. He approaches Juliet’s balcony and over hears her thinking...