Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet discussion


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Why do people think this is a romantic book?!?

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Alec I don't like this book, I read it for school and it just infuriated me because of the, frankly, stupidity of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare is a wonderful writer and I'm positive i would've enjoyed this book a lot more, if other people in my class weren't constantly referring to this book as a timeless romance.
Why do people think this is a romantic book?!?
How can they not see that it's not?
The characters are barely teenagers for god sakes!


Marci I thought the same way, but I think it's about how the very heart of the story (distrubing or obnoxious details aside) is that love is the strongest force and cannot be defeated, although victory in the name of love could very well be... unpleasant.


message 3: by sam (new) - rated it 3 stars

sam i think that Romeo was on the rebound and juliet was in the middle of a fit of teenage rebellion and they never would of made it as a couple.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Alec wrote: "I don't like this book, I read it for school and it just infuriated me because of the, frankly, stupidity of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare is a wonderful writer and I'm positive i would've enjoyed ..."
I honestly have no clue. There is nothing romantic or loving about this play, just lust, hormones, and teenage rebellion like Sam said.


Java Davis I never thought of it as a romance, and I can't believe that some people do. Also, the friar was a romantic enabler who should feel guilty for his meddling.


Eliza I categorize it as a tragedy. Of common sense.


whoufflestories I think it's because of the whole star-crossed lovers thing.


Sarah 서라 Some people do not always understand the underlying messages under stories like this one.
Two lovers- married at a young age...
They aren't allowed to be together...
They have no future apart and so they decide suicide is the best option. If everyone killed themselves because someone they deeply and truly loved died there would be no one left on the planet. They took a selfish path. It's different if you are emotional or mental unwell but willingly dying because you can't own up to what just happened. But if Romeo had patience and waited a few more minutes, well, he and Juilet could have ran off and lived a really great life. I just don't understand the hype- just like Breakfast at Tiffany's?? (No hating comments in reply & keep them to a PG to G level please)

ESPANOL
Algunas personas no siempre entienden los mensajes subyacentes en virtud de historias como ésta.
Dos amantes a casar a una edad temprana ...
No se les permite estar juntos ...
No tienen futuro aparte y lo que deciden el suicidio es la mejor opción. Si todo el mundo se suicidaron porque alguien que amaban profundamente y verdaderamente muerto no habría nadie en el planeta. Tomaron un camino egoísta. Es diferente si usted está enfermo emocional o mental, sino voluntariamente morir porque no puede ser dueño de la altura de lo que acaba de suceder. Pero si Romeo tuvo paciencia y esperó unos minutos más, bueno, él y Juilet podría haber huyó y vivió una muy buena vida. Es sólo que no entiendo la histeria-como Desayuno con diamantes? (No hay comentarios odiar en respuesta y los mantienen a una PG de categoría G, por favor)
KOREAN
eotteon salamdeul-eun hangsang gat-eun iyagi e ttalagibon mesijileul ihaehaji anhseubnida.
du yeon-in - gyeolhonjeolm-eun naie ...
geudeul-eun hamkkeiss-eul su eobs-seubnida ...
geudeul-eun tteol-eojyeo egen milae ga eobsda geulaeseo geudeul-eun jasal ichoeseon-ui seontaeg ibnida gyeoljeonghabnida. geudeul-eun gip-i jinjeong-eulo salanghaneun salam-i jug-eoss ttaemun-e salamdeul-i jasin-eul jug-yeossdamyeon jigusang e nam-a amudo eobs-eul geos-ibnida . geudeul-eun igijeog-in gil-eul gassda. dangsin-i gamjeongjeog ttoneun jeongsinjeog bulkwae hajiman gikkeoi jug-eo issdamyeon dangsin-i museun il-i iss-eossneunji kkaji soyu hal su eobsgi ttaemun-e daleungeoya . lomio innaesim-eul gajigo jal ,myeoch bun eul gidalyeossda gyeong-ue, geuwa Juilet neun domang hagojeongmal joh-eun salm-eul sal-ass su iss-eossda. nan geunyang tipanieseogwadae gwang-go - geunyang gat-eun achim-eul ihaehaji ? ( hoesin eobs-eum silh-eohaneun komenteu mich sibsio G sujun-euloPG e bogwan haji anh-eum)


Ryanne I think the romance stems from the power of first love and the thrill of forbidden love. And because of the suicide, the idea that they would rather die than live without each other. I don't find the book overly romantic, but I know a lot of people that do.


message 10: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Sam, Brooke, Eliza - can we be friends?

Because I've never thought the play was romantic at all. We've got two defiant teenagers who meet and cause six deaths over the course of a holiday weekend.

I was not impressed.


Ryanne Eliza wrote: "I categorize it as a tragedy. Of common sense."

Lol, me too!!


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Ryanne wrote: "Eliza wrote: "I categorize it as a tragedy. Of common sense."

Lol, me too!!"

Indeed.

Jen wrote: "Sam, Brooke, Eliza - can we be friends?

Because I've never thought the play was romantic at all. We've got two defiant teenagers who meet and cause six deaths over the course of a holiday weekend..."

I'd love to, Jen! I was less than not impressed.


Holly Mascaro One of the points Shakespeare is arguably making is that Romeo and Juliet had a love that was too good for this world, which is why they both had to die. I do think that too many people who haven't actually read or studied it make it out to be just a "love story" when really, to get the full depth of meaning out of it, you have to look at the many layers present, right down to the way Shakespeare uses language. Instead of viewing it as a love story that falls short, it helps to realize that it's actually much more than JUST a love story. And more than a love story, it is a tragedy.


message 14: by Eliza (last edited Sep 19, 2013 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eliza Jen wrote: "Sam, Brooke, Eliza - can we be friends?

Because I've never thought the play was romantic at all. We've got two defiant teenagers who meet and cause six deaths over the course of a holiday weekend..."


Sure! :)

I admit I am a romantic who loves happy endings. "Romeo and Juliet" had a tragic and stupid ending! It didn't have to happen that way. It's nice to find that I am not alone in my opinion. If you're looking for a better ending, read "Saving Juliet" by Suzanne Selfors. :)


message 15: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Holly - You are exactly right. There are so many layers. It can be annoying to hear The Bard's work being trivialized.

Also, like Eliza, I have expectations for romantic works that definitely include happy endings.

I may have felt differently if the characters had been older. If I could believe that they would really know love when it hit them. But they weren't and I can't.


message 16: by sam (new) - rated it 3 stars

sam Jen wrote: "Sam, Brooke, Eliza - can we be friends?

Because I've never thought the play was romantic at all. We've got two defiant teenagers who meet and cause six deaths over the course of a holiday weekend..."


sure jen. :)


Nicoleta I agree, I dont see it as a romantic story, I think people need to believe that you can love someone so much that you would sacrifice everything for that person, so they go beyond the tragedy that really is this story.


message 18: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna It is romance though, a TRAGIC romance. It`s illogical, it`s passionate and some may call it stupid and it ends terribly but this doesn`t mean it`s not romantic.


Holly Mascaro I think it's also important to consider it in the context of its time--most tragic plays were about large, political tragedies, and this play was special because it was a tragedy focused around something as seemingly small as one couple's love for each other. It's also important to really pay attention to what the language and words says about the story and its themes--at the very beginning, Romeo describes his lustful feelings towards a woman he knows, and then when he sees Juliet in the balcony, suddenly his language is elevated and describing very high, heavenly feelings, reflecting how their love is more than earthly passion.

Great insight into this play for anyone interested is The Great Courses lectures on How to Read & Understand Shakespeare:

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/co...

I've been listening to lectures 5 & 6 and they give GREAT insight. The whole series is great.


Italia8989 What do you mean by the word "romantic"? Of course, it is a tragedy and it is questionable whether or not the characters showed true love, etc. But the term "romance" does not have to mean "love." It can just be what happens in the play: Romeo and Juliet have an attraction with one another. Whether or not it is true love or just overboard infatuation still makes it romance. Teenagers can be romantic, but it does not mean they are in love. Besides the fact Juliet was considered an adult in her time. There were no "tweens" in those days. You were a child and then you were considered an adult who was ready for marriage. What would you call it if you could not call it romantic? Perhaps you would say tragedy; but overall it is a romantic tragedy. As previously stated, something can be romantic without it having to be love.


message 21: by CD (new) - rated it 5 stars

CD Romeo and Juliet is one of the tragedies. It has elements of a Romantic story, but that doesn't mean 'romance' in the way that is popular in the modern vernacular.

Romeo is a believer/follower of what is referred to as 'courtly love' in slightly different settings. Romeo's speechs define his confusion regarding the ideal love. The mental state defined in the text by S. is for some not unlike today's Drama! among Jr High students, and a few adults too!

The confusion for many teachers and certainly students upon first introduction is that S. wrote in an Italian setting, but was referencing more the English and Elizabethan period of his life and slightly before in the language and mannerisms. There is another source of problems for many readers.

The Elizabethan form has suffered in being taught well if not even properly for 20+ years. Some areas (both geographic and grade/form) have used 'the story' of R&J, but have simplified or created a synopsis of the language that loses too much. There shouldn't be a need to translate English into English.

This changing of form combined with the rise of the Romantic poets a century plus later (from Blake to Shelley and those they influenced stylistically such as Poe and later philosophically and semiotically including Rilke and Rimbaud adds confusion to what many think of as 'romance' or 'romantic'.

The nature of the story itself is laid out completely in the opening sonnet. A familiarity with that form, plus study of the sarcastic/tongue-in-cheek/etc. commentary regarding romance that S. makes elsewhere in his works, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, is vital to a full appreciation and comprehension of R&J.

The source for all thing's Shakespeare is the Folger Library in Washington D.C. Administered by Amherst College. Folger is one of the United States great academic treasures.

For now I'll conclude this with the link to the Folger Library website:

http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?ci...


Patrick The play isn't a timeless romance. Romeo and Juliet are stupid, but Shakespeare also wanted you to see that. Shakespeare wants you to see how many lives were lost due to their "love" including Mercutio, completely unrelated to either feuding families.

That doesn't mean it's a bad play. In more than a few ways, it's a brilliant work, as an almost satire on Petrarchas a cautionary tale, etc.


Shelley "Romeo & Juliet" I despise upon the first read. I've come to appreciate it so much more as an adult.

What creates the sense of tragedy in the play is the "nasty, brutish and short" nature of the life that is portrayed. The supporting characters are preoccupied by feud and hatred. Lives are short in those times--Juliet's mother was only 14 when she had her and will likely die before she hits age 30 based on the life expectancy of those times. The love between two teenagers in opposing clans, immature and silly as they appear to us, is the only thing based on beauty and purity in the cosmos of the play, and death their only way to preserve it.

What helped me realize this was the 1968 movie version. The leads are teenagers and heartbreakingly beautiful in their youth and innocence. At that point, things made sense to me.


Eliza That 2013 relationship would be interesting. . . and not necessarily in a good way. . .

It touches on the romantic notion. Exactly. Just touches.


message 25: by Marcy (last edited Oct 31, 2013 08:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcy Those who think R&J is stupid are viewing it from your own cultural standards IMO. Sure, they were teenagers, but it was at a time when life was shorter and people of their age did get married. The play is one of Shakespeare's tragedies, but it is also a romantic story. The larger message, however, is about the feuding families and what their hatred of each other has done to their children.

I wonder how many people here have seen West Side Story, and if you realize it was a rewrite of R&J?

I'm stunned at the way some people so easily dismiss one of the masterpieces of English literature.


Marcy "If you're looking for a better ending, read "Saving Juliet" by Suzanne Selfors. "

Or Cinderella.


Daniel Nanavati teenagers cannot be in love?
It is only recently that the western world created the idea of childhood at all. 12 was considered for centuries a good betrothal age, remember childbirth is dangerous and the younger and healthier the woman the better her chances of survival.
But you are right it is not a romance. It is a love story. Very different things in literature and life.


Stenedria We have to think about the fact that Juliet's parents were going to MAKE her get married to someone else, so her marrying Romeo isn't that big of a deal. People didn't live that long in that time period, so they got married and had kids early in life compared to how things are now. I think they could actually be in love if their relationship started out slow and lasted long in my opinion.


Christine A timeless romance? Yesss! It has been around for over 400 years and has remained relevant.

As others have mentioned, a teenager was not a teenager back then. A teenager then was more like a 30 year old of today.


Christine 'But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.'

If that is not romantic to you, then I'd like to know what you think romance is?


Joana I guess that, to use 500 days of summer terminology, it might be more of a "this is not a love story, it's a story about love" to a lot of people, as I've read in the comments above.
However, to me, the story illustrates a love story, yes, but it is about a lot more than that. And I also don't think it falls under the category of a romance, I'd say tragedy.


Joana Christine wrote: "'But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.'

If that is not romantic to you, then I'd like to know what you think romance is?"


I totally agree


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah romantic. Romeo loved Roseline at first and the moment he saw Juliet he dropped the chick. To me that is very, very fickle. So that begs the question if he saw another would he do it again.

But hey everyone has their opinions.


message 34: by Marcy (last edited Nov 02, 2013 07:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcy There are informed opinions and then there are knee-jerk opinions.

Sorry if that comes off as rude, but I'm just flabbergasted by the comments here.


Sarah Younan it depends on what its trying to get across.
the story isn't about true love, more so about YOUNG LOVE.
this explains everything!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngd9XV...


Marcy Hate to repeat myself, but the story is about feuding families--you know, like gangs-- and the tragic effect on their children -- something that stupid humanity's been doing since time immemorial--you know, like Crips vs. Bloods, or India vs. Pakistan, or Hatfield vs. McCoy or Al Quaeda vs. everyone and on and on and on.


Christine Marcy wrote: "Hate to repeat myself, but the story is about feuding families--you know, like gangs-- and the tragic effect on their children -- something that stupid humanity's been doing since time immemorial--..."

It is about feuding families, yes, but the romance has been interwoven into it. A play could have easily been written about rival gangs that had no plot of love.


Marcy But why does everyone here seem to have a problem with the love story??


Ladynight Feli wrote: "Some people do not always understand the underlying messages under stories like this one.
Two lovers- married at a young age...
They aren't allowed to be together...
They have no future apart and ..."


You know how to speak Korean??? That's so cool, yo estoy tratando de aprender!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Marcy wrote: "But why does everyone here seem to have a problem with the love story??"
What love story?


Christine I think people have a problem with the 'love story' because it ends in suicide. Modern audiences perhaps prefer rom-com. This could have been one of Shakespeare's comedies and could have ended in a wedding. (And that would have been OK too) But as it stands it makes a bigger statement and societal implication -- it speaks of prejudice and tunnel vision, generational gaps, etc.

I just don't agree that there IS NO romance nor love story. The plot is built around the romance and love story.


Escortgamer It IS a romantic book. Cite WIKIPEDIA! "...two young star-crossed lovers..."


Leslie I had an English teacher who said that in his opinion it would have been considered more humerous in the time of Shakespeare because it would have been unthinkable for children to go against their parent's wishes at that time. I was always taught that Shakespeare didn't write it as a romance.


Marcy Escortgamer wrote: "It IS a romantic book. Cite WIKIPEDIA! "...two young star-crossed lovers...""

I believe those are Shakespeare's original words.


Marcy Christine wrote: "I think people have a problem with the 'love story' because it ends in suicide. Modern audiences perhaps prefer rom-com. This could have been one of Shakespeare's comedies and could have ended in a..."

"The plot is built around the romance..."

Exactly. Think of Titanic: the larger story is about the sinking of the Titanic, with all sorts of social statements -- woman goes against her parents; the class system; the poor people down in steerage--but it's focussed around this teenage couple, one of whom dies by the way, as a hook. Audiences need something intensely personal to pull them into the story, and nothing works like romance.

However, I wouldn't argue that R&J is only a hook; in this case it IS more of the story, but Shakespeare was trying to say something more.

The idea that R&J was "considered humorous in the time of Shakespeare" is absurd; that English teacher should be fired. And that it "would have been unthinkable for children to go against their parents' wishes...." It is ALWAYS unthinkable, and it always happens, in every time and place.


Marcy Another thing: "people have a problem with the 'love story' because it ends in suicide..."

In that, I do believe people are judging R&J by their own cultural standards and the indoctrination of certain ideas taught in American schools in recent decades. Not that I'm saying suicide is great, far from it--but I think there's social pressure for recent generations to give lip service to certain ideas and dismiss what contradicts them without examination.


Christine @ Marcy -- yes, exactly so! We all are disturbed by the suicides, but they were necessary for the greater message of the play. In modern times it is easy to dismiss it - 'silly kids' - but I do not believe that was the intent of Shakespeare. 'Social pressure' -- I am sure it is certainly considered 'cool' to hate this book :)


Charmaine Lloyd Are we forgetting that in those times, people were usually married off by the time they were 14? We are conjecturing in terms of today's context of moody teenagers.
I think the reader gets from it what's happening in their lives at the moment they read it. I happened to see Franko Zeffereli's movie version when I was 14 and then read it afterwards. So being a hormonal, in love with the idea of love teenager, I interpreted it as romance - that was the space I was in.


Niknesha Q. Hairston I think many people consider this play a love story because these teens would rather die together than to live separately. But I think the bigger message is Love is Love which can definitely be applied today. No one should have the right to tell someone else who they can and can't love. Social or economic norms should not determine the heart.


Jenny IMHO I think it's because of the beauty of the language and how the two lovers see each other and their love. Take, for example:
(1) Juliet's description of Romeo: "When he shall die, / Take him and cut him out in little stars, / And he will make the face of heaven so fine / That all the world will be in love with night / And pay no worship to the garish sun." or,
(2) Romeo's description of Juliet: "See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. / O, that I were a glove upon that hand / That I might touch that cheek!"

Or, the entire scene when they first talk and dance and they're describing the give and take of that first touch.

I think it's situations like these that heighten the romance in this story.

I think the fact that it's a tragedy in the end is not part of the romance, but part of a warning to people that Shakespeare was trying to give: don't let your petty arguments get in the way of true love because you won't win and what you lose will be very valuable.

There are some scholars who surmise that Romeo & Juliet was actually supposed to be one of Shakespeare's comedies that he ended up changing the ending at the last minute...it honestly has more element of a Shakespearean comedy (i.e., Love's Labour's Lost, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing) than of a tragedy (i.e., Macbeth, Hamlet, Titus) -- the lovers, the misunderstandings, the comedic characters...


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