Essay about Commonalities Between The Sorrows of Young Werther and Romeo and Juliet

Essay about Commonalities Between The Sorrows of Young Werther and Romeo and Juliet

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The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe and the classic tale of Romeo and

Juliet by Shakespeare are two stories that perfectly portray love and death, also

known as Liebestod. Their heroes Romeo and Werther have a lot in common other

than taking their own lives in the name of love and damning their souls. They share

same reactions to similar situation and idolize their beloved.

At the beginning of the stories Romeo and Werther are shown to have a

likeness for solitude. Romeo's mother says Romeo "Shuts up his windows, locks

fair daylight out, and makes himself an artificial light" (1.1. 142-43). Werther also

stays alone and frequently goes to the forest to lie on the grass and witness nature

around him. When Romeo and Werther fall in love they become immensely

obsessed with their object of desire. The two had past relationships that left them

somewhat heartbroken, Rosaline recently rejected Romeo and Werther lost an older

woman that he was in love with. Both long after the unattainable, Romeo knows he

cannot have Juliet because she is the daughter of the enemy and Werther also knows

that he cannot have Lotte because she belongs to another man. But the facts don't

stop them from chasing after the girls. Both have similar feelings when they first

meet their ladies, when Romeo first met Juliet at the Capulet's Ball he says, "For I

ne'er saw true beauty till this night" (1.5. 55) and when Werther describes Lotte he

says "she is perfection" (Goethe p. 36). They are likewise utterly captivated by the

ladies; they describe them as impeccably beautiful and flawless creatures. Richard

Hawley, a write and an educator says, "like Romeo first beholding Juliet at the...

... middle of paper ...

...their love life so both end their life with their own

hands and make a toast in their lovers name.

Even though Romeo is not a romantic with a capital "R" and doesn't hope

that God will forgive his suicide he has many commonalities with Werther. They

loved with all their heart and projected deep passion, obsession and madness. Both

idolized their object of affection and loved them so passionately and deeply that the

love they thought would become their salvation became their tragic end.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. USA: Signet Classics, 1998. Print

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. The Sorrows of Young Werther. Penguin Classics, 1989. Print.

Hawley, Richard. "The breaking of boys and men: part three”. Hawleythoughts. May 18, 2009. April 23, 2014. (

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