The story of Romeo and Juliet contains many controversial topics that are mainly focused on teenagers. The most amazing fact about this story is that even though this story was written hundreds of years ago, the teenagers today still go through the same ordeals or, even wonderful events as well.
One of these important topics in this story was friendship. Romeo and Mercurito’s friendship was portrayed as what people would call today a “best friends” status. This was quite obvious in the text and both Romeo and Juliet movies; especially when witnessing Romeo’s reaction to Mercurito’s death. On the other hand, although the status of Romeo and Mercurito’s friendship wasn’t as relevant, most viewers would still be able to tell that theirs’ was different from the others’.
Hatred, although not shown similarly, was also an important topic shown in this story. If anything, hatred was the most important topic because it is what led to all of the horrid events and ordeals that took place. Hatred was shown through disputes that were started long before the present time, and also through “nationality pride”; however, all of these forms of hate were formed from one thing: ignorance. If everyone would have just stopped being ignorant and basing their morals of manners on ridiculous theories, such as discrimination and tradition, none of the problems they faced would have occurred. For the text and Romeo and Juliet movies, the families didn’t even know why they were enemies to each other, in a way. What is the point of fighting if there’s no prime reason for the dispute? In West Side Story, the two “gangs”, although ignorant, at least had a set-reason for their dispute.
The most obvious topic that portrays the lives of teenagers today, of course, is love. Foolish love, that is. It was one of those petty, “love at first glance” romantic flings that just flew off and went too far. Is it just me or is it pretty weird to marry less than a week after you meet each other? Well obviously, this wasn’t just Romeo and Juliet’s fault, but also Friar Lawrence’s as well. Yes, it is typically wrong to “bud in” on a relationship, but, for exceptions of their age alone, Friar should have at least asked the parents before wedding them so easily. Didn’t the Friar at least consider the fact that the “newlyweds” were from both disputing families that literally hated each other?
On the other hand, the love of Tony and Maria (West Side Story) was not as ridiculous. Although they had acted out a marriage together the second time they met, it wasn’t as unnecessary as becoming newlyweds so quickly. Their love was simply a love that most teens face today: The kind of love when the one can’t stop thinking of the other, and when they do, they both still get butterflies in their stomachs because of just the thought of being with him/her.
Although not portrayed in West Side Story, competition was another teenage-based topic in Romeo and Juliet. The competition between Romeo and Paris is indirect, since during most of the story, Paris does not even know of a Romeo, or what Juliet is really thinking about, in terms of her love-life, that is. Paris still believes that Juliet is in love with him, but still assures himself the marriage of Juliet by asking her father for the permission. Meanwhile, Romeo sees Juliet very often, and their love for each other just keeps getting larger and larger (it could be considered addictive on both parts). However, when Paris starts to realize that Romeo is stealing Juliet from him, Paris starts to take things upon his own. He does this by dueling it out with the unwilling Romeo at the churchyard where Juliet’s “dead” body was kept, until Romeo wins and kills Paris. This chain of events could also be described as portraying jealousy, since that is basically why Paris tried to kill Romeo.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare did not only write a marvelous novel that will be remembered forever, but had also predicted the events that all teenagers will come to face. Hatred, jealousy, competition, love, friendship, will all come into play during a teenager’s life-cycle, for better or for worse. Even though most topics are related within the teenage era, this story can relate and teach anyone at any age; it just matters what the reader’s point of view is on the story. However, this story has a lesson of its own that is a common saying parents use today: Think before you act. If anyone in this story would had thought out their conclusions for everything, none of the tragedies would have occurred.
Why? Because if they thought about what they were doing, they would have known that their decision was wrong and would have probably came up with a decent solution. For instance, the common war the world is facing as we speak. Because of the quick-thinking that took place, more death is occurring than peace. The main goals of this war are not being completed. This is all because of quick-thinking, and actions that come out of anger. This is exactly what Shakespeare, hundreds of years ago, was saying! Isn’t it a shame that the humans in the present world can make all types of improving technology, but cannot improve on their own? This piece of art is not only a masterpiece, but basically a way of life, and the world keeps proving this more and more.
Courtney from Study Moose
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