In English, my class is currently studying Romeo and Juliet and it made me think. So I’m going to assume you all know the story, but here are the main things you need to know.
- Romeo is in love with Rosaline until he goes to a ball that he’s not supposed to be at and sees Juliet.
- They ‘fall in love’ and get engaged that very night.
- The next day they are married in secret.
- Within a few days they are both dead.
From that summary, you can probably guess how I feel about this story. To be honest I think it’s a bit stupid. I think Romeo and Juliet were in love with the idea of love rather than actually feeling the emotion. I just don’t think it works that way.
I realise that I’m not an expert and I don’t assume I am but this does not happen realistically.
I do find myself wondering if Shakespeare was making fun of young love. Was he laughing at himself as he wrote it. Because only teenagers could make such a thing happen. Only teenagers could be so passionate, hopeful and…. desperate.
That is my opinion of it anyway. My belief is that love is a thing that must be built with trust and knowledge of the person, as well as, passion.
‘Love is friendship set on fire’
In my eyes, someone you love must also be your friend. You don’t lay eyes on someone and just decide to love them. Well, that’s not my experience of the world, anyway. Though, I suppose I haven’t had much experience.
I don’t believe in love at first sight. There I said it. I think there can be, ‘It could turn into love’ at first sight. But not love. It wouldn’t be fair, if love came that easy. If it did, it wouldn’t be such a celebration when it did. We might even take it for granted like we do with everything else (but that’s another story.) The feeling wouldn’t be so pure and beautiful, as it is now. Love comes after like and after relationships.
‘A relationship is like building a house; build it well or it will collapse.’
When I started reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (watch this space, there will be a review coming up,) I was excited when Romeo and Juliet came up. it happened that in the book, Eleanor agreed with me when she said,
‘It was “Oh my God, he’s so cute” at first sight. If Shakespeare wanted you to believe they were in love, he wouldn’t tell you in almost the very first scene that Romeo was hung up on Rosaline… It’s Shakespeare making fun of love,” she said.
Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell (page 44)
The teacher then proceeded to tell her that she had no heart, which is far enough. It may seem like a negative way to think but there it is and I wholeheartedly agree, that it doesn’t seem like Shakespeare wanted you think they were in love.
So why has this story stuck with us for so long? I won’t deny that, despite that fact that I don’t agree with the ‘love at first sight’ thing, Romeo and Juliet is an outstanding piece of literature from an outstanding writer. It would be stupid to say it wasn’t. Well, I’m going to quote Eleanor and Park again for you…
Mr Stressman said, ‘… Tell us, why has Romeo and Juliet survived four hundred years?’
Park hated talking in class. Eleanor frowned at him, then looked away. He felt himself blush.
“Because…’ he said quietly, looking at his desk, ‘because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?
Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell (page 45)
And it’s true, because the story of Romeo and Juliet would not make sense if they weren’t teenagers. Only teenagers could cause such chaos and be so passionate in their love.
Those are my thoughts, whether you agree or disagree I would love to know. 🙂
I should be posting more often, because I’m on holidays now! I am lacking ideas at the moment though, so we’ll see.
I love all of you! ❤
Virtual hugs xx
Photo is from here.