In the article “Romeo and Juliet Love Death”by Carla Freccero, an alternative approach to the reading of Shakespeare’s classic play is taken. Freccero makes the case that the young rebellious lovers may have been in love wiLh a concept greater than just their affections for each other, She points out the numerous references and obsessions with death that lead to the couple‘s unLimely demise and the societal statement it makes as a result. She begs the question of whether or not the two star-crossed lovers were truly enraptured with each other, or merely each other’s infatuation with death and the potential for its use to politically upheave their society.
It’s this act that is monumentalized, the fantasy and myth of their love playing below the importance of what their union represented in its rebellion.
She closes out by drawing conclusions on how our society continues to reform this concept for whatever purpose that needs to be served, be it the image of young undying love (hetero or homosexual) or the acts toppling societal norms and restrictive regimes, So how does one apply this new understanding? To me, its almost as if a key had been unlockedt Like more depth was added to the base work and I could find subsequent hidden retellings of this version of Rome and Juliet, In The Hunger Games for instance.
The main characters share a “love story“ that is only partially true, though they really love each’s commitment to death and are willing to poison themselves at the end of the games in order to make a larger statement, become martyrs, immortalized and spread hope to topple the dictatorship Love of Death, rebellion against authority.
Then there‘s West Side Story which decides to play on aspects of racism and true love, Both accurate retellings in their own sense but vastly differentt I have yet to see a production of Rome and Juliet though I am curious what the majority consensus is when it comes to directing and acting out the production, At Theatre UCF, we have the privilege of preparing our own production of it and it could prove valuable to emphasize these already rather blatant plot devices to garner a different reaction from the audience No longer should we think so one dimensionally about love and sacrifice. Sometimes it may be that the greatest love comes in mutual sacrifice for the greater good.