“Two households both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.”
-Prologue, Romeo and Juliet
Nearly everyone is familiar with the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, two teens in love separated by their warring families. These two teens are often put up on a pedestal as the perfect representation of love. There’s even a whole movie about it, Shakespeare in Love. But, are they?
They are young teens, who meet, fall in love, get married, and commit suicide in less than a week. On the surface, not exactly what one would aspire to emulate. And yet, here we are. It begs the question, is it possible that they were in love that quickly? The play is without a doubt full of beautiful, poetic language and packed full of emotion, but does it accurately represent love?
These are the questions Eli and I will be grappling with today as we discuss Romeo and Juliet.