Are the Lessons in Romeo and Juliet Still Valuable to Audiences Today?

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Are the lessons in Romeo and Juliet still valuable to audiences today? A tragic ending to the tale of the star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, brings forward important lessons. These lessons are constructed to communicate to the wider community that is relevant to the audience and are introduced in different themes. These themes include being blinded by passion, striving for a higher social status and relationships which are all valuable to audiences today. “Get thee to a church a’Thursday, or never look me in the face.” In an attempt to raise the Capulet’s social status, Juliet’s father arranges a marriage for her and Paris. But as the audience knows, Juliet does not love Paris and she is threatened with disownment. From this, we can learn that if we do not follow the higher order or go with the flow (status quo) we risk receiving punishment, the same way Juliet might receive it. We as the audience can need to navigate through challenges on a daily basis and can use this lesson so we can avoid any unnecessary punishment. Decisions obscured by passion (hate or love) are something that is a part of Romeo and Juliet. “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” is a simple verse from the prologue that contains a powerful message, a message that makes the play a tragedy, in which the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet die. Passion is an important theme in Romeo and Juliet, it affects the decisions we make and clouds our conscience. Romeo and Juliet make many rash/quick decisions which only lead to trouble. “…then banished,… Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe…”, Romeo said this for killing Tybalt. The passion here is not the hatred for the Capulets, but the hatred for killing. The lesson here to be learnt by the modern audience is that we mustn’t let passion get in the way so that we make rash decisions. Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues and the Capulets are all in a relationship together, but not all relationships are positive. The relationship between...
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