Cindy's Reviews > Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
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Feb 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: classics, historical-fiction, own, 2011, read-for-high-school, reviewed, 3-enjoyable
Read from January 25 to February 13, 2011 — I own a copy

This review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.

Two words: Epic. Fail.

Seriously, I was expecting so much. This is Romeo and Juliet we're talking about here. It's only the best known romance in the history of English lit, right?

OK, I digress. The next generation might just consider Twilight to be the best known romance of all time. Shame on them. Such poor, misguided souls...

I thought R&J's ages caused all their interactions to take on an almost laughable quality. Two teenagers falling in love and getting married the next day? Psh, call me cynical, but that is just a wee bit too fast, eh? I understand that R&J's naivety adds to the realistic feel of the play, but it just didn't work for me. It doesn't help the situation, either, when, for some incomprehensible reason, one's English teacher feels the need to point out and explain every single innuendo Shakespeare included. After which the idiotic freshman guys in my class would guffaw and snicker-punch each other, and I would just die a little bit inside.

How dare they blaspheme Shakespeare in such a lowly manner in my presence...?

Anyways, I thought the only redeeming quality of Romeo and Juliet was Shakespeare's beautiful writing. He has such a way with words, but I'm sure everyone who's read him knows this already. Romeo has some great lines. Incredibly melodramatic when put into the context of the story, but beautiful nonetheless.

Next up in class is The Merchant of Venice. Hopefully it will be more similar to Macbeth, which I enjoyed immensely last year.

Tidbit of random: If only I could write like Shakespeare is a thought that constantly goes through my mind every time I read one of his magnificent works. Like that's every gonna happen.

Book Source: Purchased
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Quotes Cindy Liked

William Shakespeare
“Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
And vice sometime by action dignified.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Reading Progress

01/25/2011 page 3
3.0% "I actually have a good English teacher this semester... /gasp/ Excited:)."
01/30/2011 page 15
16.0% ""I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe/Under love's heavy burthen do I sink." I think Romeo's emo speeches are actually quite lovely..."
02/03/2011 page 43
45.0% "Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, / And vice sometime's by action dignified."
02/06/2011 page 67
70.0% "Romeo refers to himself in 3rd person when he's agitated. I find this to be very amusing... ^^"
02/13/2011 page 96
100.0% "OK, now I'm off to think up a good thesis for the upcoming essay T-T"

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-21 of 21) </span> <span class="smallText">(21 new)</span>

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Katharyn hahaha! your comment on romeo's speeches made me laugh.

Cindy i was like totally not expecting an emo romeo, but hey, i'll take what i can get from good ol' shakespeare:).

Joyzi I wanted to read this too ever since I watched the anime RomeoxJuliet

Krystle I don't think this book is meant to be taken as a romance. It's supposed to be warning us about the danger of infatuation and the impulsiveness of youth.

Eric Hendrixson Romeo and Juliet would have been a good play were it not for Romeo and Juliet. If this play were called Mercutio and Tybalt, it would be an awesome play. Romeo and Juliet are just not good characters. The true love narrative is hard to take seriously, since Romeo was just as much in love with someone else at the beginning of the play. Romeo is just too emo and Juliet is just too stupid, but Mercutio and Tybalt are great characters and are probably the only reason to read this play.

Cindy @Joyzi: There's an anime? Must add to to-watch list! You should read R&J. I still liked it, despite everything.

@Krystle: True, true. My teacher gave a similar response every time we mocked R&J. Still, the romance is a component of the play I feel the need to harp on...

@Eric: Mercutio and Tybalt were awesome characters! (view spoiler)

Joyzi There is, here's a pic

RomeoXJuliet Pictures, Images and Photos

message 8: by Cindy (last edited Feb 14, 2011 06:43PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cindy Watching the RomeoxJuliet Balcony Scene right now. Very dramatic:). Lovely art, though.

Krystle I think the play was meant as a parody/satire rather than something serious. So the romance was ridiculous on purpose. ;).

Cindy OK, maybe I'll write my essay on the satirical quality of R&J or something:). Idk, for some reason, I can't think up a good enough thesis...

Krystle LoL, you could say he's poking fun of the grand romance stories on how they're ridiculous by over exaggerating elements of Romeo and Juliet's own romance. XD.

message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle In my opinion, the Merchant of Venice is a great book. We read MoV and Hamlet last year for English. They were both good. :) Never read Romeo & Juliet though.

Cindy Thanks! Now I'm kind of looking forward to MoV:). And I want to try Hamlet. It's one of the higher rated Shakespeare plays on GR...

Alara my favourite is King Lear :) you should try it. it's a bit longer though.

Cindy Thanks for the rec! I'll add it to my to-read shelf:). I was actually thinking about doing the Shakespeare elective my school offers for next year, but I don't think I can stomach too much Shakespeare at once haha...

Sarah Just adding in my two cents worth: the age of Romeo and Juliet does seem a bit -no, a lot- too young to be doing this sort of stuff. (I.e. Getting married after one day) But you have to take in account the fact that, back then, the life expectancy of people was much lower than it is today, so it would make perfect sense to get married earlier to have more time to raise your kids before you die. Plus, you have to realize that Juliet is grasping at straws here because she doesn't want to marry Paris. Her solution? Marry Romeo instead!
Hope this clears a bit of that up.

Cindy Thank you! I do understand what everyone's saying about R&J's age and Shakespeare's intentions and all that. I just tend to rate books/write book rants based on my personal feelings, and my feelings are quite... opinionated (?)

message 18: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Williams I agree that it is more about Shakespeare's language - his turn of phrase because really, the best scenes are indeed Mercutio and Tybalt...yet, if you act, DO it and you will see the play differently...

message 19: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Okay coming back to this post, I just want to say that I just read R&J for Lit class and I completely agree with you on all of your points in this review. Beautiful, beautiful writing but very unrealistic plot...

message 20: by Somerandom (new)

Somerandom Didn't think it was a romance play. It was a warning about stupid teenage hormones and their inability to distinguish love and lust. People romanticize it because they love to romanticize things that they shouldn't. Agree, that man had a way with words and it's over the top to poke fun at how over the top grand love stories tend to be. Not to mention the parallels you can find with the over the top teenage problems and feelings.
That being said, I personally love Mercutio and Tybalt more than I do that whiny emo Romeo though. =P

message 21: by Adria Goodwin (new)

Adria Goodwin It is ok

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