Romeo And Juliet: Fiction, Or A Message In A Bottle?
Romeo and Juliet is a play from the world famous playwright William Shakespeare, the first time I was told to read it, I sort of sat there with a blank face, the YouTube buffering symbol in my eyes, and one question, “wot”. Okay, so, Romeo and Juliet, famous love story, got a good premise, more death than Friday the 13th in 5 days, but a half decent message, “fortune comes to those who wait.” Well not that message entirely, but the point is clear, rushing into relationships is something that children and complete idiots do, and it’s like buying an entire house because you like the stained-glass window. The gist of the story is two families, the Capulets and the Montagues get real narky at each other for some reason, but instead of settling it over some sort of mutual agreement, or something like normal people, they just kinda stare at each other for the whole story, disliking each other, until the final chapter, where they make up and go out for ice cream and lemonade, or something, but like waay too late, ‘cause like five people are dead, but at least they weren’t bitter by the end.
Romeo and Juliet’s premise is that Juliet is to be married at the young age of 14 to a 25 year old Count named Paris, I’m assuming you all see the age gap, and you get uneasy, which is normal, in fact, so normal that even Juliet has that feeling, and agrees only to think about marrying Paris after observing him at the ball that night. Then the Capulet boys (Benvolio, Mercutio, and of course Romeo) go to crash it, wants to go undetected, hiding under a mask, eventually, he runs into Juliet and they click like two rocks into tinder, and end up burning the whole damn forest down. Romeo stakes out in Juliet’s garden, then when she’s contemplating what to do, up pops Romeo, swanning about all romantic and such, Juliet spends half of spiel poking plot holes in Romeo’s figure of speech like a complete buzzkill. Eventually they decide to get married the next day, and here’s my point. This play is almost advice to some people who think that life is a relationship, and they want to speedrun a relationship in an attempt to feel some sort of love, but they just aren’t ready, and when they realise it takes a bit of effort to stay in a relationship, as opposed to getting into a relationship, they get bored and leave, so in an effort to fill the void, they get into another relationship as fast as possible. This behaviour creates a cycle equivalent to that of building a small shack, burning it down because you don’t like the paint, then building it and painting it the same way, it gets infuriating, to all those observing this selfish person.
So, Romeo and Juliet get wed by a Friar Laurence, where even Friar Laurence scolds Romeo before the wedding for not being loyal (obviously, falling in love with someone within 24 hours of falling in love with another person doesn’t exactly show loyalty) Romeo brushes it off and goes back to town, now changing the proverbial facebook status, where Tybalt getting a nark on, wanting to challenge Romeo to a duel for having the audacity to go to a party he wasn’t invited to, Romeo tells Tybalt to let it go, but instead Mercutio takes up the reigns for Romeo, while Romeo is all like ‘for goodness sake you two, I don’t want you two dead over this stupid stuff’ Tybalt ends up stabbing Mercutio underneath Romeo’s arms, where Romeo gets completely livid since Tybalt just stabbed a friend of his, so Romeo, being the newly wed husband does the rational thing, kills Tybalt, to resounding applause from the audience. After this, Romeo is put in time out forever and banned from Verona, when Juliet hears this, she gets all mournful, since now she can’t see her husband, Friar Laurence comes up with the idea to feign Juliet’s death to everyone, and give Romeo a letter spoiling the plot twist, Friar John (Friar Laurence’s subject) goes to give the message to Romeo, but it gets lost in the mail, so when Romeo hears Juliet’s dead, he gets the biggest of sad. On his way back to Verona to see his wife one more time, after buying poison from The Apothecary, he comes across Paris in her chambers, and does the normal thing and kills Paris on sight. After looking on at the not really dead Juliet, he necks the poison like a glass of water and dies, coincidentally, just as Juliet wakes up from her extended beauty sleep, Friar Laurence bursts in, and sees Romeo dead, where he just gives up hope on these two and leaves quietly. Juliet, after seeing her husband dead at her feet, grabs his dagger and stabs herself, with three dead in the chamber, and two dead in the streets, Friar Laurence scolds the two families for being such unreasonable people, which they both agree with, and end this brawl.
To me, this whole story is very relevant today, with people jumping both feet into a relationship without actually knowing the person, this is especially true with the younger generation, hell I’m even guilty in some part of this (just not as far as to actually get a girlfriend feelsbadman) but this book shows what happens when someone falls in love far too quickly, and heavily, things don’t last long. There are some that believe that Shakespeare shouldn’t be taught like here, written by a Mark Powell, an associate director at Salisbury Playhouse (playhouse as in a theatre play, not pee wee’s playhouse) but he focuses on how that it is confusing to read, and write, but what he is missing is that the play has a message that is so timeless, that it even stays true to this day. The message is so clear that even Friar Laurence in the book pokes fun at Romeo for being so quick to jump ship, the fact that Romeo never told Juliet that it has been like 12 hours. So yes, Romeo and Juliet should still be taught at schools, for it has many lessons to be taught when it comes to young love.
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