May 23, 2008
Romeo & Juliet: Superficial Love
There are infinite ways to define love. Love has become such an ambiguous and vague term, though it is one of the most recognizable of human emotions. It has existed as far back as humans remember and love has been a source of interest and inspiration in the Arts, Religion, Sciences, and most popularly, in Literature. The most memorable and popular work of love is William Shakespeare’s tragic Romeo & Juliet. What is so remarkable about this play is its bold exploration of different types of love. Traditionally, Romeo and Juliet’s love has been portrayed as ‘true’ but Shakespeare makes an effort to expose the vain love that exists in his Verona. Romeo and Juliet’s love is superficial; true love requires maturity, a foundation, and time; all of which are lacking in their romance. To begin with, Romeo and Juliet’s love lacks maturity, which is essential for true love. Both are too immature to understand the concept and in the first scene, when Romeo is still lusting after Rosaline, he says, “Bid a sick man in sadness make his will/ a word ill urg’d to one that is so ill”(1.1.196-197). Shakespeare, almost sarcastically, shows the dramatic character of the well-versed romantic, Romeo. Young Romeo enjoys wallowing in his misfortunes and once he gains an audience, he becomes more animated with his well-practiced love lines. Romeo’s theatrics reveal his immaturity and keenness to recreate feelings that he assumes about love. His character is never interesting when he is not in love, Romeo uses love to fill a void and love is a fuel for his most famous lines. Juliet is a quiet, lonely, and unassuming girl who agrees to her parents’ wishes though she is not interested. Both are young and are devoid of the wisdom to understand true love.
Romeo and Juliet’s love lacks physical maturity as well. In Verona, love seems overrated, partly due to the young age at which...