13 May 2012
“Puppy Love” Throughout Romeo & Juliet
Is Romeo really deep in love with Juliet? Or is it merely infatuation? Romeo loves Rosaline, and allegedly Juliet is not ready to marry, but in the course of one climatic evening, both those statements become false. It is indisputable that throughout Romeo And Juliet, William Shakespeare shows on multiple occasions that Romeo and Juliet are both experiencing “puppy love” and not true love.
Romeo Montague’s apparent love to Rosaline at the beginning of the play shows how needy Romeo is. Since Rosaline did not want to lose her virginity, Romeo lost interest in her seconds after looking at Juliet. Romeo is allegedly in love with Rosaline but since she cannot fulfill his ‘needs’, he moves on very quickly to Juliet. “Did my heart love till now, forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” (I.v.52-53). Within seconds, Romeo completely forgot about Rosaline. Before going to the party, Romeo is depressed and lonely. Before the Capulet’s feast, Romeo has never heard of Juliet, and afterword he is proposing to her. Romeo must be experiencing “puppy love” because there is no way that he can possibly move on from Rosaline that quickly. Romeo is concupiscent and desperately wants a girlfriend so he is letting his hormones getting the best of him and falling in love with any girl he finds attractive. If Juliet tells him that she wants to stay a virgin, Romeo would have undoubtedly found another girl to, “fall in love” with.
Another way that Romeo shows he is only experiencing “puppy love” is the fact that he meets Juliet on Sunday and marries her Tuesday. Romeo is young and immature and he is going way to fast, like he is on a near constant adrenaline rush. Romeo is trying to be smooth and is just acting on impulse throughout the play. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” (2.3.94-95.). Friar Lawrence just found out that Romeo is in love again and he knows that true love does not come this fast, so he is warning Romeo. Romeo then kills himself mere days after marriage because Juliet is ‘dead’. Romeo is just in shock, because the first girl that loves him has died and Romeo, acting on impulse once again, kills himself. Say Romeo settles down and reasons with himself, everything could have worked out. This is an example of “puppy love” because if Romeo is really in love with Juliet, he would not have been so drastic and extreme.
Lastly, Juliet agrees to marriage, just mere hours after meeting Romeo. When Paris proposes to Juliet, she claims she is too young and innocent to marry, let alone even consider love. “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly.” (1.3.98-100). She tells her mom that she will consider marriage, but she is not going to accept it right away. Juliet then goes off later that night and engages to another guy, whom she just met. It shows that she is just experiencing puppy love, and is caught up in the heat of the moment when she decides to marry Romeo a couple hours after meeting him. Juliet has never experience love so she rushes herself when it comes to life-threatening decisions like marriage. She turns from innocent and young, to “easy” and vulnerable, and because of that she shows that she is experiencing “puppy love”.
In conclusion, on multiple occasions throughout Romeo And Juliet, William Shakespeare points out how teenagers experience true love rarely and they are actually in “puppy love”. According to urban dictionary, puppy love is the love between young couples within a few weeks of getting together. Not really true love, more blind affection - immature, young love. This fits Romeo and Juliet perfectly as they both make immature decisions because they think they are in true love. Teenagers in Romeo And Juliet are constantly falling in ‘love’, but upon further inspection it is mere infatuation, or “puppy love”.
Shakespeare, William. Romeo And Juliet. Harcourt Publishing: Toronto, 1987. "Urban Dictionary, May 16: Puppy Love." Urban Dictionary. 14 Feb. 2003. Web. 16 May 2012.