Romeo and Juliet: Are they in love?

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Love, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 4 (1404 words) Published: May 8, 2014
Four centuries have passed since William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was first performed; yet it is still a controversial question to ask: are Romeo and Juliet truly in love? True love is when you would risk anything just to be with that one special person; it’s when you see them in their ugliest moments and still want to love and please him or her no matter what. Based on Aristotle’s three levels of friendship, Romeo and Juliet’s relationship certainly does not start at complete love; instead, it gradually develops into it over the course of the play. Along with their changing relationship, Romeo and Juliet are also beginning to grow up. And by the time of their deaths, they’re willing to give up anything and everything to be with each other. While Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is extremely hasty, they are absolutely in love according to Aristotle’s three levels of friendship, Romeo and Juliet’s maturation throughout the play and both characters’ willingness to sacrifice anything to be with each other. As believed by Aristotle, there are three different levels of friendship. The lowest form is utility friendship, a relationship based solely on reason while disregarding emotion and whether or not the two parties enjoy each other’s company. The next level is pleasure friendship, the exact opposite of utility friendship. It’s a relationship based only on mutual enjoyment and emotion, specifically passion, while ignoring whether or not either party will gain something beneficial from the other. Finally, there’s complete friendship, the highest level achievable. It combines both utility and pleasure but instead of existing for each other’s sake, each party cares about the other for their own sake. William of Ockham also adds a third element to Aristotle’s complete friendship, will. He explains “that will ‘commands the inferior powers, including reason… [and] moderates one’s passions.’ Since the will has power over both reason and passion, it need not value...
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