Romeo And Juliet Final Post

At the end of Romeo and Juliet, this is the question that’s invariably on everyone’s minds. Did the play really have to end like that? Were Romeo and Juliet being rash, and was suicide really worth it just because they couldn’t be with the one they loved?

Film and Television

Overall, I would give the whole book a solid 7/10 stars. I really enjoyed the beginning of it, (up until act 3-middle of act 4), but after that, the whole thing seemed a little rushed. Like Shakespeare just wanted to get it over with (relatable). Now, I knew that R & J’s relationship was hasty, but for some reason, the whole time I was expecting their relationship to be a little more… developed. But no, they see each other a few times and then die in each other’s arms. To me, that made the “I love you so much I’m going to die for you” seem a bit fake and not genuine. But I guess some of it is probably not being able to see into a character’s mind, as it is a play.  

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So, was their love really worth dying for? This is like trying to explain the meaning of life in one word, but I’ll try to make it concise:

  1. A common motif is that love leads to death. Juliet says, “Than death prorogued wanting of thy love” Mercutio died because Romeo loved Juliet, and in turn Tybalt. Tybalt died because Romeo loved Mercutio and wanted vengeance. Paris died because he loved Juliet. Lady Montague died because she loved Romeo. And of course, Romeo and Juliet died because they loved each other.
  2. When Romeo finds Juliet dead, he expresses suicide as an act of love. “I still will stay with thee/ And never from this palace of dim night/ Depart again.” So, love and death is one and the same here.
  3. They (including Friar Lawrence) believed that love can conquer all, especially the family feud. So, if there is no more love, can you conquer anything? Or is death now the only option?

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This is at least how Shakespeare presented it. In my opinion, it’s very circumstantial. If you had a kid that was dying and for some reason, the only way they could live is for you to die, it’s worth it.

But committing suicide for a man you’ve met a few days prior? Absolutely not. Maybe you’d feel like you wanted to die, but life is so much more than romance. If anything, you have to stay alive because I doubt that loved one would want you dead.

 

Who’s to blame?

 

In a way, every character somehow contributed to Romeo and Juliet’s death. But I’m still standing behind my theory that Romeo is to blame for all of this. I’ll sort it out into a list again:

 

  1. Like Helen Fisher said, the feelings of love are more intense when you just got dumped. And he meets Juliet right after Rosaline ditched him, so it’s more of lust at first sight than love.
  2. And when Romeo is whining to his friends about his love life, Mercutio basically says “sleep with someone, you’ll feel better.” Aaaand he meets Juliet…
  3. Juliet loves him because he’s attractive, and Romeo takes advantage of that to just manipulate Juliet because he’s heartbroken.
  4. Read my last post for more on this, but Romeo is the reason why Mercutio and Tybalt died.      
  5. And of course, when Tybalt died, Juliet’s feeling that teenage rebellion (after her father threatens to disown her) and decides to not care that the love of her life killed her cousin, but that he’s banished. Really, Juliet?! And when the Nurse asks her, “Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?” She responds, “Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?” as if the two cancel out (pg 137).
  6. Maybe Paris isn’t the bad guy we all thought he was- Capulet tells Paris in scene two that he needs to “take things slow” with Juliet and win her over first: “But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,/ My will to her consent is but a part…” So, Paris actually loves Juliet… unlike Romeo, who seems to just be manipulating her.
  7. Romeo is banished, which according to him is worse than death. And then Juliet dies… so he decides to commit suicide because he’s basically screwed (and it’s better than being banished, so hey!). And all this drives Juliet to kill herself too, because that one hot guy who her parents didn’t like and acted like he loved her is now dead. Oh, Romeo!

Those are all of my thoughts, overall, I liked the play much better than I thought I would. I linked a short video from Thug Notes summarizing Romeo and Juliet, enjoy…

Romeo and Juliet Act 2 & 3

Check out my last few posts on Romeo and Juliet before you read this one

We are finally finished with Romeo and Juliet up until Act Three. Or, as I’m calling it, The Act Where Everything Goes Wrong. In Act 2 and 3, R & J finally begin to realize that love is not a save-all, heal-all force, and maybe, just maybe, love can actually pull others apart. But, our favorite star-crossed lovers clearly don’t see this, because they’re too infatuated with each other’s beauty that they don’t realize actions have consequences.

RIP: Mercutio and Tybalt

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To be honest, I was a bit upset that Mercutio and Tybalt died. Romeo and Juliet were starting to annoy me with all this “love at first sight” crap, but the side characters (not you, Paris…), especially Mercutio, were a breath of fresh air. However, I think this is exactly why Shakespeare decided to kill them off. I read that Shakespeare said “if I don’t kill Mercutio, Mercutio is going to kill me!” (maybe not his exact words, but still). Romeo and Juliet is not a love story- it’s a tragedy. Shakespeare didn’t write love stories. So, he had to progress the play somehow, because we all know how it ends. And I think getting rid of the two “main” side characters, especially Mercutio, the funnyman, launched the play into a much darker alley.

In the scene, Tybalt challenges Romeo to a fight, but Romeo decides that he does not want to fight. Tybalt provokes Mercutio by saying “you consortest with Romeo,” (you… hangout with Romeo?), so they fight and both end up dying. Classic.

“A plague on both your houses!”

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Now, don’t get me wrong. Mercutio would be willing to die for Romeo if the need be. They’re best friends, and their bond goes far back… definitely further than the night before. But, the thing about Mercutio’s death is that there was no need. This event that triggers the death of 6 more characters was wholly preventable, if it wasn’t for loverboy Romeo. Romeo was supposed to be there for Mercutio but all he said was “oh no my love for Juliet has made me effeminate and suddenly I won’t hurt a fly!” Really, man? Even though Tybalt might have physically killed Mercutio, Romeo is to blame for his friend’s death. One of the cardinal rules of friendship is to never let other romantic relationships to get in the way. Mercutio was there for Romeo when he needed him, but Romeo was too busy looking at the whole situation through his post-marriage rose-colored glasses to mind. He was ignorant. Mercutio even said: “Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm” (pg. 121). Clearly, love didn’t solve anything in this situation. Could it have? Maybe, maybe not. If Romeo explained why he said he loved Tybalt, he would definitely die a lot sooner than he had! Perhaps love is the peaceful solution in Romeo’s mind, but not everything has a peaceful solution.

The Blame Game

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R & J clearly believe that they have an unbreakable bond. But if this is the case, then how do they fall to their demise so quickly? Who is to blame (other than Shakespeare 😉  )?
There are a few people to point fingers at.

Friar Lawrence

Friar Lawrence is the easy one to blame for Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo and Juliet were tried in court for murder, their lawyers would probably argue that they were delusional, or perhaps intoxicated, and didn’t know what they were doing. However, Friar Lawrence was supposed to be the trusted adult, but he was just blinded by his ignorance. He thought that a decades long family feud could just be solved by marrying a Capulet and a Montague- but you could argue that he’s just stupid and blinded by love like half the people in this play.

Capulet

Capulet is the strange dad that sounds like he’s having a stroke every time he talks, but there’s no doubt that he’s the most mean-spirited character of the play. Because he pressured Juliet into marrying Paris, Juliet felt that sense of teenage rebellion when she fell in love with and married Romeo. Not to mention, he threatened to disown her unless she immediately married Paris. And according to neurologists, when you love something you can’t have, the love is much more intense. So, that worked out. 

Romeo, Thou Art A Villain!

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These two characters are often blamed for the way Romeo and Juliet ends, and it’s true in one part. However, there is one character that is more to blame than anyone else: Romeo.

Let’s explore:

In class, we talked a lot about how Romeo instantly falling in love with Juliet at the party was basically his rebound from getting rejected by Rosaline. He was still so intensely in love with Rosaline, but since he couldn’t have her, he acted that much more reckless. He saw Juliet, a pretty looking girl, and married her the next day. Convenient, isn’t it Romeo?

There’s also the fact that Juliet is 13. Of course, society 500 years ago was much different, but if Juliet sees a hot 17-23 year old lusting after her, she’s bound to be happy about it- Romeo is her first love! So, was Romeo taking advantage of Juliet? Did he really love her? Or was it just a spur of the moment fling?

Now the character deaths. As I mentioned above, Romeo is really the one to blame for Mercutio’s death. His friend needed him and he wasn’t there- even worse, he used his love for Juliet as an excuse to not fight Tybalt. And when Mercutio dies, he gets mad at Tybalt and kills him… when it’s really his own ignorance that killed Mercutio.

Back to Juliet: her “love” that she’s known for a few days killed her cousin! She takes some time to weep, but then focuses her energy and anger to being mad that Romeo is “banishéd.” If she wasn’t so blinded by love, she would have seen Romeo’s ulterior motive. So… maybe love is not blind, but love is blinding. The girl’s thirteen and got threatened to get disowned by her parents, of course she’s going to do everything to rebel!

The blame on Romeo goes on into the play, but since we are only on act 3, I won’t get too into it. In conclusion: Romeo is a hotheaded mess.

Keeping Up With The Capulets

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If love was a hole, Juliet fell down it and then started digging. In Act 2, she handed her heart over to Romeo on the balcony after a whole 2 hours (hey, at least it’s something). She was ready to give up her soul, her life, even her identity as a Capulet just to be with Romeo. On page 73, she says: “…a rose/ by any other word would smell as sweet/ so Romeo would/ were he not Romeo called.” Juliet does not care that her only love is from her rival house: the only thing that matters is that they are in love. Cute, right?

No. She’s going to die. But, of course, she doesn’t know that- so she gets married. And then things get interesting.

Tybalt

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She spends a stanza or two crying about how her cousin is dead, but worry not- it doesn’t last for long! Because when she finds out that Romeo is banishéd, it’s suddenly the end of the world. On page 137, she says: “Romeo is banishéd./ To speak that word is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet, all slain, all dead.” You don’t possibly think you’re being a bit dramatic, right? Just a little? In front of her mother, she convinces her mother that she hates Romeo- not that her mother was suspicious of her in the first place, anyways. “I shall never be satisfied/ with Romeo till I behold him -dead-”

Which is interesting, because, you know, I guess that makes her satisfied at the end of the play? Hm.

Paris

In Act 3, Lady Capulet confronts Juliet about marrying Paris. She defiantly says no, playing into a little bit of dramatic irony when she says: “When I do marry,/ it shall be Romeo; who you know I hate,/ rather than Paris.” Right, Juliet. You hate him so much. But when she says no to her father, he practically loses it. He threatens that if she does not marry Paris by the upcoming Thursday, he’ll disown her. She begs for her father’s understanding, but it’s apparent that he doesn’t really care much about how she feels. And to make things worse, the Nurse, who was supposed to be on her side, also wants her to marry Paris. Ouch! Tough times.

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I am honestly not sure whether or not I am looking forward to the rest of the play. While I’ll miss it’s lightheartedness, I’m also looking forward to the darker parts. But, overall, it’s much better than I thought it’d be so far!

 

Romeo and Juliet Act 1: Dear Romeo

Mercutio spitting straight wisdom about love to Romeo in a letter (I translated it to Shakespearean language using Shmoop’s translator, but I had to improvise in some places. Like when I said “I love you” and it spat out an entire poem. But, apparently, you just have to add a bunch of “eth”s at the end of words in order for it to sound Shakespearean!)

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From what I understand, Mercutio doesn’t really care much about love. Every time Romeo complains about how lovesick he is, Mercutio dismisses him and makes a crude comment (ie, “prick love for pricking, and you beat love down” (Act 1 Scene 4). Smooth, Mercutio. Smooth.) Like all best friends, he relentlessly teases Romeo about falling in love and, being the comic relief, makes numerous jokes about it. I tried to fit that aspect of Mercutio into this letter as well. But, to be honest, Mercutio would probably rather just start beef with the Capulets than listen to stories about his best friend falling in love with one.

So, enjoy this heart to heart, bro to bro letter.

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If love be rough with you, be rough with love. 

-Mercutio, Act 1, Scene 4

 

Romeo! Sirrah! Thee in earnest needeth to be collected. Thou has’t flown so close to the sun and now thee art burning.  Thee knoweth whither ashes end up? The trash, Romeo, the trash! In mine most humble opinion, love is fake. Thou art telling me that thee see some wench and thee falleth in love with that lady right hence? Lest I calling talk’st of nothing. One moment thee art in love with Rosaline, now thee forgot about that lady. Thee gravely just saw Juliet and hath said love looks with the heart, not with the mind, and therefore, Cupid is blind? That is a gross amount to sayeth to a lady on thy first date. Thee cannot even fit that on a friendship bracelet, cousin.

Doth I mean nothing to thee, Romeo? Am I just dirt? Don’t  tryeth mine with this love horror, Romeo. I’ll murder thee.  Thee art too valorous for this! And a Capulet of all people! Doth not thee knoweth anything, Romeo? I consume Capulets for dinner, utter fool. If ‘t be true thee bethink thee art very much in love with Juliet, thee needeth to receiveth thy headeth checked. Unless thee art an insolent clotpole, thee would has’t hath heard me at which hour toldeth thee how to fix a broken heart. And that didst not includeth falling in love with some Capulet!

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Now, I can telleth that thou art going to cometh crying to me for love advice. There’s few or none will entertain it. I could not care less, Romeo. I wilt probably stab thee with mine sword. Receiveth ov’r t, Romeo. You’ll at each moment beest mine sirrah, but thee can beest gravely obnoxious at times. Jokes aside,  if ‘t be true thee art truly in love with Juliet, I wilt supporteth thy endeavors. Just doth not forget who thee art during this whole time. Doth not alloweth love consume thee, but rather consume love.

Love thee,
Mercutio <333

 

 

 

Romeo & Juliet Act 1: Love at First Sight

First Impressions

As we all know, Romeo and Juliet is a classic. And when books are classics, you hear a LOT about them in daily life prior to reading it- it’s almost part of our culture. So, to be honest, when I actually began to read it, it was not at all what I was expecting.

I was pleasantly surprised when I finished Act 1. After 15 years of hearing about Romeo and Juliet, I was ready to descend into the depths of hell reading this story. However, while the way Shakespeare crafts his sonnets is at some times confusing, once I got over the language barrier, I liked it. I’ve never really read an entire play before and this is my first time really getting into Shakespeare, and it feels like a breath of fresh air from the usual novels we read in class.

However, the one issue I’ve found with Romeo and Juliet (and this is probably because I’ve never read a play before) is that it’s very difficult to imagine what’s going on in my head. Plays are nothing but dialogue, so combine that with strange language and no descriptors whatsoever, and it’s really hard to imagine the scene in your head.

Juliet Capulet

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(I am analyzing Juliet throughout the book).

While Juliet only appeared for a short time, I found her character interesting. The first time we meet her is when her mother praises the man who wishes to marry her, Paris. Getting married is a huge step in a person’s life, yet she seems quite apathetic. On page 39, Act 1 Scene 3, Juliet refers to marriage as “an honor that I dream not of.” She then goes on to say that if her parents truly want her to marry, then she will. This was probably common for the time period, though. 

When we meet Juliet again, it is at the masquerade. Romeo approaches her and flirts with her. She immediately spits out metaphors about saints and pilgrims, and how holy saints do not kiss with their lips. Romeo snarkily responds, “Have not saints lips?” (pg. 57 Act 1 Scene 5).

And Juliet, like the good religious girl she is, basically says “you nasty, use those lips for prayer!”

Just from this exchange, the Montagues and Capulets seem very different. The Montagues, judging from Benvolio and Romeo, are more like carefree “bad boys,” while the Capulets seem like religious, put together, and uptight. So, considering Romeo and Juliet are already madly in love after 0.0001 seconds, it should be interesting to see how they interact later on.

Love at First Sight: Is it Shallow?

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This was a question I had about love at first sight for years. It is love at first SIGHT, no? So are you falling in love with the way that they look, and is that shallow? In my opinion, love should be much more than just thinking a person is hot. Take this stanza from when Romeo first sees Juliet:

“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand

And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.

Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,

For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night (pg. 53, Act 1 Scene 5)

When Romeo sees Juliet from across the room, he knows nothing of her personality, status, hobbies, or anything. All he sees is how hot she is, and suddenly he’s in love. For some reason, I thought that they got to know each other more before pledging their life to the other, but I guess I was wrong. Doesn’t this make love at first sight (at least in this case), rather shallow?

Overall, I like Romeo and Juliet so far and I’m interested to see how to love story plays out, as we all know what happens in the end!