The Concept of Love in Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet: the world’s greatest love story, or at least that’s what people think, but with further investigating, come to find that Romeo and Juliet were anything but two star crossed lovers bound to be together. Not only was Romeo still going through the heartbreak of his last so-called loving not reciprocating the same emotion, but was also under constant stress for being so emotional, and being teased by his friends for not “manning up” and getting over his old love Rosaline.

At the same time, Juliet was being shoved into a marriage before she had even considered the idea of doing such. With her parents breathing down her back to get married and have kids at her age just as they did, she felt very alone in her thoughts and found that escape in Romeo. With one being highly mentally unstable, and the other just wanting to escape the pressure of the gender expectations and the constant judgmental eyes of her mother and father, the two simply found an escape from the real world together, which sounds like something right out of a romantic movie, if romantic movies were twisted.

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Romeo and Juliet both had very authoritarian parents, and this mixed in with their own psychological issues really affected their interaction with one another. Psychoanalytic theory and authoritarian parenting styles had an impact on Romeo and Juliet because it convinced them they were in love, causing the world to believe Romeo and Juliet was the “greatest love story” when in all actuality, it was far from it.

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First introduced is Romeo as he is in a seemingly deep depression, for his love Rosaline, doesn’t want to be with him. His cousin Benvolio attempts to help, but Romeo just can’t imagine a life without Rosaline. Benvolio cries for him, because he feels sorry for him, but Romeo says “My sadness sits heavy in my chest and you want to add your own sadness to mine so there’s even more.I have too much sadness already, and now you’re going to make me sadder by feeling sorry for you.” One would think that Romeo would rather apologize to Benvolio but rather he got angry with him, showing that he could already be bipolar because his emotions quickly changed from being very depressed to anger over the smallest of things. In a document written by Kristeen Cherney, under a list of common symptoms of bipolar tendencies: the patient will show signs of not only severe irritability and but also mood swings. This doesn’t make Romeo insane in any sense of the word, but does show that his actions and tendencies could be because he is bipolar and shows multiple signs of such. Not only this, but also being in a depression does really make a person drift away from everyone around them, as nothing really feels good anymore, but for Romeo, Juliet was his escape. We see this once he meets Juliet and immediately goes from being depressed to being in love, and completely over Rosaline in seconds. Romeo being bipolar could easily be the cause of his quick jump from one emotion to the other.

Next, the character juliet is introduced, who is an independent young 13 year old who hasn’t even thought of marriage, and has no intention on getting married, but her parents have a different idea in mind. Her parents, lady capulet and lord capulet want her to marry a prince, and are determined to make her do so, even if that means disowning her. This shows an authoritarian parenting style because of their refusal to listen to her own opinions or show an interest in her feelings toward the matter. These actions hurt her mental health more than she will show, on purpose at least. Through Juliets quick attachment to a boy, Romeo, who shows her nothing but love and acceptance for any and every decision she makes, it is obvious that Juliet craves independence in her actions, but no longer independence in her romantic life.

In act two scene two of No Fear Shakespeare:Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says to Romeo, “I’ll lay all my fortunes at your feet and follow you, my lord, all over the world.” What is so very strange about this, is the fact that Juliet does not just simply say Romeo is her love, but instead, is her lord. This is because her parents raised her to believe that love is not shown through care and affection but is instead shown through control. So, when Romeo shows her this care and affection, she doesn’t recognize it as love in a relationship but instead as a new found lord.In How Parental Conflict Affects Kids, it is said that Those problems negatively impact their romantic relationships in adolescence and adulthood, as conflicts cause children to ‘perceive themselves and their social worlds more negatively’ and to ‘have more negative pictures or internal representations of family relationships.’ So, because of her parents not teaching her the meaning of true love nor did they show it, Juliet could not differentiate between love and worship, nor could she really understand what a good relationship was. So, when she found Romeo, she was very new to the aspect of true love and what it was, making it easy for her to perceive her relationship with Romeo as love. Because of Juliet’s parents’ parenting style, Romeo and Juliets relationship was very affected in the aspect of understanding love.

It is quickly observed that Romeo is very mentally unstable, and it is also quickly observed how easily Romeo moves on from Rosaline and on to Juliet. This is also easily seen my his priest named Friar Lawrence, who after discovering that Romeo not only has a crush on Juliet but intends on proposing to her says “Holy Saint Francis this is a drastic change! Have you given up so quickly on Rosaline whom you loved so much?” Friar Lawrence is completely and utterly baffled by Romeos quick change of heart from Rosaline to Juliet, after the many times claiming to not be able to imagine a life without his love. Romeo is quick to defend his actions claiming that the Friar was never supportive of Romeo’s affection to Rosaline. This quick definitive tone is also proof of guilt. As read in an article by one Susan Krauss Whitbourne called 5 Reasons Why We Play The Blame Game, it is stated that “blame is an excellent defense mechanism. Whether you call it projection, denial, or displacement, blame helps you preserve your sense of self-esteem by avoiding awareness of your own flaws or failings.”

Romeo’s definitive tone on his actions and placement of blame on Friar Lawrence could be because he already has a low self esteem, and doesn’t want to lower it farther by accepting his faults. This also connects to a separate document, 4 Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Kids: What’s Your Parenting Style? by Amy Morin , it says “Kids who grow up with permissive parents tend to struggle academically. They may exhibit more behavioral problems as they don’t appreciate authority and rules. They often have low self-esteem and may report a lot of sadness.” It is not known how Romeo acts in school, but is certainly shown that he has low self esteem because of how he does not want to admit how odd it is how quickly he fell out of love with Rosaline and in love with Juliet. It is also shown that he doesn’t appreciate authority and rules as he shows disrespect towards Friar Lawrence when called out on his odd mood change. All of this shows how mentally unwell Romeo was, because of his low self esteem and has very permissive parents which affected his overall personality and played a role in his relationship with Juliet.

Juliet was not only highly affected by her parents, but on her own was a very stubborn child who was very dead set on only her opinions and emotions mattering above anyone else. This could very likely could be because of her parents disregard of her opinions and feelings, which could easily be a learned trait, but could also very likely be because she was just simply bipolar. Now, Juliets selfishness at most times isn’t the only reason for this theory of her being bipolar, but also because of how she very quickly changed her seemingly determined plan to stay single, and be her own woman without a man needed, to being in absolute love and wanting to marry him to follow him anywhere. In almost every conversation with not only her mother but also her caretaker, simply known as the nurse, who has acted as her mother since Juliet was born, Juliet makes it clear that she has no intent on getting married, and has no desire to find a love to marry.

For example, in Act one Scene Three of No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet, Juliets mother, asks what is Juliets attitude toward marriage is, in which Juliet simply responds, “It is an honor that I do not dream of.” and when offered the chance to marry a prince, states “I’ll look at him and try to like him, at least if what I see is like able. But I won’t let myself fall for him any more than your permission allows.” What she is essentially saying is, she will meet this prince, but only because she is being told to, and doesn’t like him. She makes this very clear, but once she meets Romeo, her attitude completely changes. Juliet is quick to call Romeo her lord, and wants to marry him almost immediately. While the normal person would at least take months to get to know a person and get a connection if not take a year to do so, a person who suffers from being bipolar could make this rash decision in the heat of the moment. Her suffering from being bipolar would highly affect her relationship with Romeo for if she wasn’t, she most likely would not have been so quick to want to marry him.

All of this information known, one could also assume that Romeo and Juliet could have simply just been too young to know what love was, and weren’t affected by their parents or own mental illness. This could be true, but there is too much evidence that shows just how much their parents’ little disregard of their thoughts and feelings affected both Romeo and Juliet on many different levels. This made them quickly attach to each other as a way to escape from the constant stress they were under, and also to take their mind off of the pain they were in because of their parents. Both Romeo and Juliet did not have a good relationship with their parents, and showed multiple signs of being bipolar, so these two things in common could have unknowingly brought them both together very quickly. As Romeo found the love and affection not received by Rosaline in Juliet and as Juliet found the type of listener and lover she didn’t know she needed in Romeo, they fell in love and were determined to be together. They both got what they wanted out of one another, and because they never got the chance to really know each other nor did they have time to really see their relationship bloom, they believed that they were just meant for each other, and wanted to marry.

In an article by Sylvia Smith called 8 ways to tell if it’s love or lust it is stated that “Lust persuades you to say what the other person wants to hear” and Romeo most certainly always says what Juliet wants to hear, but this is because he knew what to say to make her want to be with him , like by calling her cute nicknames and such further hinting at him being bipolar, because he once wanted Rosaline so deeply now wants Juliet. Juliet believed that love was shown through control rather than care and affection, which made her attach to Romeo as he gave her what she was never given. Romeo got the love and attention he never got from his parents and ex love Rosaline in Juliet which made him attach to Juliet. All of this together has nothing to do with age, but simply their parents fault for not giving them the love they needed and their oblivion to their own mental battles.

Conclusion

All in all, psychoanalytic theory and authoritarian parenting styles had an impact on Romeo and Juliet because it convinced them they were in love, causing the world to believe it was the “greatest love story” when in all actuality it was far from it. Romeo wanted to find love, and Juliet wanted an escape from her parents, which they found in one another, and made the believe they were in love. Juliets parents wanted nothing for Juliet but to find a man to marry and have kids, and Romeos parents had no regard for his actions. Both Romeo and Juliet had a bad relationship with their parents and got what they needed in one another. More than this, both showed multiple signs of being bipolar and suffering with mental illness, which gives reason for their unthoughtful actions and want to be married so quickly. Romeo and Juliet both had to deal with unhealthy parents and an unhealthy state of mind that led them to believe they were in love.

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The Concept of Love in Romeo and Juliet. (2021, Sep 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-concept-of-love-in-romeo-and-juliet-essay

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