It has often been said that information is power. Knowledge is a weapon, and lacking knowledge and information leads people into preventable predicaments. In all walks of life, people make bad decisions because they don’t know any better. Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is a prime example of this. Two young lives are lost due to youthful choices and lack of experience. Poor and uninformed decisions can lead to irreversible consequences. As humans, we learn from experience. Romeo and Juliet lack the experience of older and more mature people.
In a few days’ time, Romeo (17), and Juliet (13), meet, fall in love, marry, and are so shamelessly in love that they are willing to die for each other. “… Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight. For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night. ” (Act one, scene V, lines 53-54). This quote is an example of the impulsive and youthful behavior exhibited by Romeo. Before he has even spoken to young Juliet, he is hopelessly in love with her. Juliet, however, is more reserved. When Romeo asks her to, “…let lips do what hands do! They pray. (Act I, scene V, line 107).
Her gentle explanation of the sin of kissing shows her innocent outlook on life and love. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. And I’ll no longer be a Capulet”(Act II, scene II, lines 35-37). This quote is an example of Juliet’s innocent immaturity. As young children ask “why? ” without thought, this is Juliet’s way of paraphrasing the care-free question. It is true that during the time period which this work was written, Romeo and Juliet were hardly youth. Women” Juliet’s age were already married with children. They could easily be considered to be capable adults.
But as coddled children from wealthy families, they were not ready to handle the responsibilities they got themselves into. This is illustrated by their premature deaths. Their deaths, which some people argue were the result of fate, were clearly the result of their youth and inexperience. While it may have been fate that they died, how they died was a direct consequence of the unorthodox choices they made behind their parents backs.
When Romeo replaces his false love, Rosaline, with Juliet, who loves him in return, he shows that he is immature. He had never even talked to Juliet before when he decided she was his soul mate. Once they have both fallen in love, they realize the problem of their allegiance: they are from rival families, and despite the recognized danger, plan to pursue their love. This exposes their adolescence because they are willing to risk everything, including their own lives, to be together when they don’t even know each other.
Yet another example of childish behavior is when Romeo sneaks away from his friends to go visit Juliet. He climbs the Capulet’s wall and conceals himself in the darkness of the garden. Hearing Juliet profess her love, he calls out to her and they discuss the problem of their love. In justification, Juliet states, “A rose by another name would still smell just as sweet. ” (Act II, Scene II). A final example of Juliet’s youth and inexperience is her proposal to Romeo.
Not only is it untraditional, but in the era this work was written it was unheard of. Power comes with knowledge, and knowledge comes with experience, which can lead to the unfortunate demise of youth. Such was the case with Romeo and Juliet. Time and time again, their youth and inexperience are illustrated. As the great Dwight Schrute once said, “Information is power. ” Had Romeo and Juliet been more informed, they may have lived. But, then again, Romeo and Juliet are only works of Shakespeare’s imagination.