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Thread: Romeo & Juliet: Love or Stupidity?

  1. #16
    Romeo and Juliet is not a bad play but it has been very overrated.

    What always bugs me about the play, and why so many companies have done alternative versions and messed with the setting, is that the conflict isn't strong enough. I've never really believed that Romeo and Juliet were in any danger- yes, it was against their parents' wishes but it's a squabble between two families.
    I haven't seen a production yet that shows any sort of violence and conflict. Waving swords at each other and biting thumbs is not a conflict.

    Romeo and Juliet aren't in love- they're supposed to be a contrast from the conflict of the Montagues and Capulets. They represent innocence- it doesn't really matter what gender they are and there have been a female Romeo and Juliet and a male Romeo and Juliet. The love sonnets are supposed to be a contrast with the conflict of the families.

  2. #17
    Tralfamadorian Big Dante's Avatar
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    To me Romeo seemed too spontaneous for his own good and it was his 'do now, think later' attitude that got him into so much trouble. He cared little for the consequences of his actions until he had to face them which resulted in him getting into precarious situations.
    A few examples are:
    His sudden change of love. From Rosaline to Juliet
    Reaction at Mercutio's death, from being resigned to fight to slaying Tybalt.
    When he hears of Juliet's death it takes him five seconds to make the decision to run off and kill himself.

    And with the original comment I agree, there was too much stupidity on behalf of Romeo and Juliet for them to have a 'happily ever after.'

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dori View Post
    I've read Romeo & Juliet only twice in my life, once in my freshman year of high school and, coincidentally, two weeks ago in my first semester of college.

    In high school, I'll admit, I didn't really read it. That is to say we read it as a class and my attention was strictly cursory. I also watched the Baz Luhrmann film production.

    Sadly, I thought Romeo & Juliet was all lovey-dovey-oh-poor-Romeo!-and poor-Juliet...

    My college professor shattered that interpretation. She taught us about Petrarch and what the play was actually about. Romeo is a moron, and Juliet isn't much better.

    I agree with your prof. but since this forum is old I won't post my reasons. If you care, send me a PM.
    Dare to know

  4. #19
    Random scribblings. moonbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dori View Post
    Sadly, I thought Romeo & Juliet was all lovey-dovey-oh-poor-Romeo!-and poor-Juliet...
    Quote Originally Posted by Dori View Post
    Romeo is a moron, and Juliet isn't much better.
    Let's not forget here that this story is about two lovestricken (and probably spoiled) teenagers suddenly told they can't be together. If you ask me, few people would have acted any differently than they did under the cirumstances. After all, love itself is quite illogical.
    If we find the answer, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason-- for we would know the mind of God.

    -Stephen Hawking

  5. #20

    Love or Stupidity? I say, a little bit of both

    While I do not know much about Aristotle or Petrarch, I am a great admirer of Shakespeare's extraordinary ability to expose the basic and complex elements of human nature, such as greed, jealousy, love, anger, passion and deception, through his unique manipulation of language in such forms as poetry, wit, parody and tongue-in-cheek humour.

    It is my opinion that, realistically, both Romeo and Juliet would have been too young to have any realization or concept of what such a thing as true love really was. While Juliet was seen as a mature young women in the eyes of the society she lived in, illustrated by the fact her parent's had just arranged her engagement to a man she has never even met, in reality she was only 12-13 years old; a mere adolescent. She was also very spoiled and sheltered, due to being the only daughter of one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Verona. What she felt when she first saw Romeo was quite possibly her first experience with anything to do with feelings of a romantic nature.

    Romeo, on the other hand, is a very immature young man who is constantly falling in and out of love. For example, at the start of the play, he is passionately attached to Rosalind. Then, when she rejects him, he sneaks into the Montague's party for the express purpose of being near to her, only to spot Juliet and fall madly in love....again. This is evidence of a highly susceptible emotional state, a fact which can be further compounded when Romeo falls to pieces after being told he's banished to Mantua, and when he is ready to kill himself after hearing Juliet is 'dead.'

    Out of both of them, it is Juliet who is shown to be the most steadfast in character. It is she who commits to swallowing a vial of poison in order to be with her husband, is willing to defy her parents for the man she loves, and run away from the only home she's ever known. Nevertheless this, along with the fact that she was willing to rebel and leave her family for a man she's known less than an hour, could also be interpreted as an example of how very young and inexperienced she really is.

    What it really comes down to is the fact that this story is meant to contrast the purity and innocence of a young couple in love with the violence and hatred of their parent’s world, both of which inevitably collide. In the abstract, anything-is-possible world of Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet could really have been genuinely in love. I mean, there are crazier things in this world then finding your soul-mate when your just 13, however highly improbable that may be. And, after all, who doesn't want to believe that true love, love to cross oceans for, love to die for, really does exist.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by mona amon View Post
    I once saw an old BBC production of the play, where the actress playing Juliet was forty years old if she was a day, and it just didn't work.
    If you mean the 1978 BBC version she was only fifteen.

    Unfortunately for Romeo and Juliet, they die before they get wiser, or more disillusioned.
    I think this is the key point of the tragedy: it's a tragedy of youth, not of love, hence why the thirties film of Romeo and Juliet misses the point.

  7. #22
    The old rose colored glasses of your own civilization comes into it. The great fools of the story are the fathers. The marriage for them is an open free way to bind a legal peace between them. They choose pride and conflict. The Count of Monte Cristo is natural expected family honor revenge in his society, not the Moby Dick dig two graves of our own time's thinking. Romeo and Juliet were 90210 airhead rich kids. Kids. The fathers lost their kids. For all their money and power, they destroyed what was most precious to them. All are punished. You the adults let these kids die because you were not adult enough. Pyramus and Thisbe, Prof Campbell. A slain young person is forever young. In our culture, vampire fiction, to turn young is to be forever young and sexy. A young man living by his passions is very d'Artagnan. The sad death of lovers is nothing new. The story is about the fathers, the men buying the tickets. How their pride slaughters their children. Maybe a Hercules thing.

  8. #23
    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    I look at it as love in a microcosm. TEENAGE love condensed. Teenagers are impulsive and earnest and prone to disastrous depressions and shifts of feeling. They aren't stupid. They are young. They stumble upon something that seems beautiful and all consuming in the middle of a violent, hindered existence. Their love becomes too important to them. They can't see beyond a moment. Ignorance, sure. Naivete, certainly. Nothing worthy of scorn. If you have ever been in real love, you know that life without that person can make life seem unbearable. It's overly exaggerated with Romeo and Juliet; no less valid, I think.

  9. #24
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    If you mean the 1978 BBC version she was only fifteen.



    I think this is the key point of the tragedy: it's a tragedy of youth, not of love, hence why the thirties film of Romeo and Juliet misses the point.
    No, no. The version I'm talking about was black and white - or was that only our TV? I looked up the '78 version on youtube and it wasn't that one. It's not easy to confuse a 15 year old girl with a 40 year old woman, more's the pity.
    Last edited by mona amon; 04-17-2012 at 01:13 PM.
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by mona amon View Post
    It's not easy to confuse a 15 year old girl with a 40 year old woman, more's the pity.
    Some person came up to Miley Cyrus a few years ago, thinking she was a forty-year-old woman.

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