Romeo and Juliet is Not a Love Story

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William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a Renaissance poet and playwright who wrote and published the original versions of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, and often called England’s national poet. Several of his works became extremely well known, thoroughly studied, and enjoyed all over the world. One of Shakespeare’s most prominent plays is titled The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. In this tragedy, the concept that is discussed and portrayed through the characters is love, as they are recognized as being “in love”. The general umbrella of love encompasses various kinds of love such as romantic love, the love of a parent for a child, love of one’s country, and several others. What is common to all love is this: Your own well-being is tied up with that of someone (or something) you love… When love is not present, changes in other people’s well being do not, in general, change your own… Being ‘in love’ infatuation is an intense state that displays similar features: … and finding everyone charming and nice, and thinking they all must sense one’s happiness. At first glance it seems as though Shakespeare advocates the hasty, hormone-driven passion portrayed by the protagonists, Romeo and Juliet; however, when viewed from a more modern, North-American perspective, it seems as though Shakespeare was not in fact endorsing it, but mocking the public’s superficial perception of love. Shakespeare’s criticism of the teens’ young and hasty love is portrayed in various instances of the play, including Romeo’s shallow, flip-flop love for Rosaline then Juliet, and his fights with Juliet’s family. Also, the conseque...

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... off.”(“Love’s Bond”, Robert Nozick) If that is true when loving someone, Romeo evidently made the wrong decision to kill Tybalt. By fulfilling this revenge, Romeo not only caused Juliet to be upset, but he also placed a burden on himself: an imprudent decision. After analyzing Romeo’s careless approach to risking to lose Juliet’s love, it becomes clear that Romeo’s love for Juliet is not a real romantic love, but it is a hormone-driven, passionate, hasty love that is portrayed as ruinous and preposterous by Shakespeare through Romeo’s actions.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a play commonly viewed and known as a true love story; however, after analyzing several hints portrayed by the protagonists, it is evident that Shakespeare did not intend to make Romeo and Juliet seem like a true love story but a criticism of how superficial society’s view on love is.
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