Why William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Is Not a Perfect Romance

Romeo and Juliet are the icons of romance in modern day society; teens and adults alike reference a perfect romance to the Romantic Tragedy by William Shakespeare, Famous artists put out songs pertaining to the exact principles of the Romeo and Juliet story and that is a greater part of why society today reflects the romance so vividly. Teenagers in particular are seen acting in such way that Romeo and Juliet acted towards one another; can’t live without one another, ready to go against their families wishes to be with each other, and even being violent over their love such as standing up to anyone who gets in the way, Society defines this story as a “perfect romance”, whilst ignoring all the unsatisfying details.

“As long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke.” (Justin Bieber. “As Long as You Love Me,” Believe, The Messengers, 2012,) Justin Bieber, being a very influential figure in today’s world, sings those lyrics suggesting to his audience, mostly teens, to follow the belief that ‘I don’t care where we are in life, all I need is your love’.

These lyrics very closely relate to Romeo and Juliet and their perspective on loving one-another. They didn‘t care whether their families were in a feud and didn‘t let them see each other.

They “fell in love” and are already careless and inseparable. Many people don‘t even read literature. In 1982 the literature reading rate was 57 percent and by 2015, only “43 percent of adults have read at least one work of literature in the previous year.

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” This plummet in the amount of American Literature that American adults read, contributes to the cluelessness about typical Literature, including Romeo and Juliet, While there are so many similarities, one aspect of the story that our society fails to advertise is the conservative side of the story, Juliet couldn’t wait to marry Romeo because she wanted to have sex with him. Today however, it doesn’t take much to engage in sexual intercourse with someone Our society doesn‘t value purity and the belief of keeping yourself “pure” for your husband or wife. Science Daily tells us that “Middle school youth engagingЬin sexual intercourse as early as age 12, according to a study by researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health.” There is more propaganda about the more rebellious acts than about the things that still kept Romeo and Juliet sane.

If artists incorporated more of the conservative part of the story of Romeo and Juliet, then there would be less of the “I can‘t live without you” and “I don’t care about what my parents say, I still want to be with you” tactics According to Newport Academy, “Teens become much more interested in sex, sometimes to the point of obsession.” (Newport Academy, 2012) This explains why Romeo and Juliet were so passionate for each other, “She hath not seen the change of founeen years.” Old Capulet said to Paris. (Shakespeare, 1597). People often don’t realize how old Romeo and Juliet were and how unstable their hormones were however their romance is still considered basically a national symbol of deep love, passion and romance. Many people in society don’t even know the real story of Romeo and Juliet. People hear “Romeo and Juliet” and they envision a beautiful romance in which the two protagonists have such deep love and passion for one another. What they don‘t know is the other parts of the story that include violence or despair. Many don’t know about the family feud, about the bloody mess of the death of Mercutio and Tybalt or even the fact that both Romeo and Juliet killed themselves because they so badly wanted to be with one another.

A good example of this cluelessness is the song “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. In summary, the song is about a girl liking a boy and imagining this story of her being Juliet and the boy, Romeot She sings “you are Romeo“ And my daddy said, ‘Stay away from Julietf” This part of the song is similar to the real story and so are some other parts of the song such as “l sneak out to the garden to see you. We keep quite ‘cause we‘re dead if they knew” and “Romeo save me, They’re trying to tell me how to feel”. However, there are lyrics that differ from the actual story such as “Marry me Juliet…l talked to your dad—go pick out a white dress” and the fact that the song has a happy ending where they both run off to get married The song doesn’t feature the tragedy Shakespeare intended it to be and unfortunately, this is what American people see the story of Romeo and Juliet to bet Romeo & Juliet was written around 1595 (there‘s some debate) and first performed soon after. We mention the date here because it’s important to why you’re supposed to hate Romeo. There was rampant famine in England in the 15905 among the poort Most of the audience showing up to a performance of Romeo & Juliet was probably hungry.

They pay what little money they have to see a play to forget their misery for a few hours. Then out saunters Romeo, a little rich boy, whining about love. Besides love, what’s one of the first lines out of his mouth? He asks Benvolio: Where shall we dine? Imagine a theater full of starving people hearing that delivered by some beautiful rich kidt He has so many options for where he’s going to get his next meal that he can’t even decide, They’d have thrown tomatoes if they weren‘t so hungry. It‘s semiotics. The same way a filmmaker now might show a villain being mean to an animal to signal to the audience that this is the bad guy, Shakespeare included this line to incite the feeling in the audience that they should hate this guy. Besides talking about food when we first meet him, Romeo is whining about love, but really he’s just mad that Rosaline won’t sleep with him. When he meets Juliet, he doesn’t fall instantly in love, he sees someone he thinks he can have sex with. He uses the fact that Juliet has fallen for him to manipulate her, (Glen Tickle, 2014) In his article “You’re Reading Romeo & Juliet Wrong. You’re Supposed to Hate Romeo”, Glen Tickle, a comedian, talks about a possible alternative to the Romeo and Juliet story; what it was initially written to be.

He says that Shakespeare originally wrote the play as a tragedy not because Romeo and Juliet never got to live a happy life, but because Juliet fell into the manipulative grasp of Romeo, who only wanted to take advantage of hen In the very beginning of the play, Benvolio asks Romeo about why he is so sad and “Romeo tells him that he is ‘Out of her favor, where I am in love‘ (11168) Although he doesn’t tell Benvolio her name, Romeo is speaking of Rosaline, and in the rest of the scene he continues to speak of her and of his hopeless love for her” (Shakespeare Navigators, Accessed 2 November, 2016) There are multiple ways to translate William Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet and some people certainly see it differently than others but unfortunately, Shakespeare is not a 450-year-old living human so we cannot ask him his original intensionsi However there are ideas as the one Glen Tickle proposed that suggest the real meaning being completely different than the original.


  1. http://www,teeninkicom/opinion/pop_culture_trends/article/424420/Are—Romeo—and-Juliet- Like-Teens-of—Today/
  2. https://wwwtsciencedaily,com/releases/2009/04/090408145354,htrnl
  3. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/romeo_juliet/full,html
  4. http://wwwtsparknotestcom/shakespeare/romeojuliet/summaryhtrnl https://eniwikipediaiorg/wiki/Love_Story_(Taylor_Swift_song)
  5. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/taylorswifUlovestoryhtml
  6. https://wwwtwashingtonposttcom/news/wonk/wp/ZO16/09/07/the-long-steady-decline-of- literary-reading/
  7. http://wwwtthemarysuetcom/romeo-and»juliet-correctjon/ http://www,shakespeare-navigatorstcom/romeo/Rosaline.html

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Why William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Is Not a Perfect Romance. (2022, Sep 24). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/why-william-shakespeare-s-romeo-and-juliet-is-not-a-perfect-romance/

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