Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Romeo and Juliet

Recently as I was stalking, which is a completely normal activity for me,  I discovered that there is a new version of Romeo and Juliet being filmed. It will be starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld (pictured below). To see  the rest of the cast you can click Here

Douglas Booth: 'Romeo and Juliet' with Hailee Steinfeld!

Now, I’m not sure if I’m alone in my views, but I’m not such a big fan of Romeo and Juliet. That’s not to say I’m not a fan of Shakespeare, as he is without a doubt one of the most revered writers of all time  and has made a mark on the world of literature no other author could wipe clean. I find it quite bizarre how references of Romeo and Juliet make it into love stories. I have such a difficult time accepting this tragic love when all I see are two hormonal teenagers, who think they are in love. They disregard their parent's wishes, marry in secret, get roofied by a priest, and then kill themselves. That does not say love, or in any way resemble, romance to me. 
Now, as a disclaimer, these aren't my words exactly but they express the way I feel perfectly. thanks The Crook Book Shelf and ab keuser

 Romeo is an inconstant fool. He begins the play lovesick over Rosaline and within an act is mooning over Juliet. Is it just me, or does the fact that he ditches the so called love of his life as soon as another girl comes into the picture, start ringing alarm bells. 
Juliet isn’t much better. She meets a boy at a party and is suddenly head over heels for im and vowing her love on a balcony (yes, you know the one).So, a fickle 15 year old boy and a cripplingly naïve 13 year old girl agree to get married in secret, having known each other all of six hours. They’re young, I know, but their entire situation could have been handled much better from the get go.
And then you have a case of tight britches and hot tempers with the whole Tybalt challenges Romeo, Romeo refuses, Mercutio fights instead and is mortally wounded, Romeo slays Tybalt out of grief and guilt. Thus, Romeo is exiled, but spends the night and consummates his marriage with Juliet… and then Capulet goes off the deep end, telling Juliet she WILL marry Paris or else be drowned. Which, come on… dude started the play saying she was too young to marry and then, when she seems grief stricken he forces her to get married? I’m not sure how you read that… but daddy might have some issues of his own.

So Juliet goes to the Friar for help and like any good man of the faith, he comes up with some grandiose plan that in no way involves being honest and instead gives her a “drug”  that puts her in a coma for 42 hours. The responsible adult somehow manages to be just as childish in  his handling of the situation as the kids are.

And of course we all know what happened then… Romeo doesn’t get the message in time, he goes to the crypt with his draught of poison, kills Paris, poisons himself, only to have Juliet wake seconds later to find him dead and kill herself… and THEN the families reconcile. I don’t know about you, but having the secondary characters learn something from the deaths of two completely naïve children is not what I call a satisfying ending. Stories can have morals yes, but I see no real love in this story. The Prince’s ending words are the only part of this that rings true: For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. 

Love is something that develops over time, and triumphs all other concerns. Had they been a bit older, they would have saw this, and realised acted brash and foolish would be their demise. People see this play as the book that most describes how love can last forever. I do not believe this. If love could last forever, then surely it could withstand any attacks from family members.  What do you think? Should Romeo and Juliet be classed as one of the greatest and most powerful love stories of all time? Or should it be showed in the light of what it truly is; a book about how making the wrong decisions and being reckless can lead to disaster?

1 comment:

  1. I have always viewed Romeo and Juliet as more of a tragedy than a romance. They are two hormonal teenagers that have a fling that barely lasts long enough to be counted in days rather than hours, and ultimately leads to the death of 5 people!