- Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of œ‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’” ? Why or why not? Provide at least two pieces of textual evidence.
From Romeo and Juliet’s actions within the play, I believe their relationship is true love based on the norms of the Elizabethan era. It was common for relationships to be sprouted from physical appearances and sexual desire, whereas now, reasons such as those are looked down upon. From the modern perspective, their love is nothing more than infatuation. Compared to the standards of today, we take love a lot more seriously with the influence of romance movies and celebrity relationships. Infatuation is described as an “addictive love”, where signs include risky decisions, sexual desire, and the reckless need to satisfy themselves. Romeo’s intentions of chasing after Rosaline was because of her beauty, and that by becoming a nun, “[…] when she dies, with beauty dies her store” (1.1.213). He is disappointed that Rosaline chooses to stay a virgin by letting her beauty rot away without producing offspring. True love is said to take time and commitment. Romeo and Juliet develop their relationship very quickly because they are pressured by their family’s feud and the fact that they are not allowed to be together. They escape the expectations that they are forced to follow and proclaims their love before anyone breaks them apart. Especially with Lady Capulet looking towards Paris as a husband for her daughter, Juliet must confirm that Romeo loves her by acting upon his words. Although they are compelled to get married as soon as possible, Friar Lawrence warns Romeo that “these violent delights have violent ends”, meaning that the rapid progress of their relationship will suddenly come to an unfortunate conclusion (2.6.9/11).
- To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate? Do some brief online research to back up your claim, providing links / citation to your research at the end of your response.
I agree with Kulich’s argument about the difference in children expectations and behaviours. During the 16th century, there was never a “young teenager” label for adolescents. It was from child to adult immediately after their guardians deem them ready. This was normally the age of 12 – 15. The term puppy love we use now used to be the reasons for individuals living in old England to marry. Males had dominance over females and their desires often drove them to attain courtship with women on first glance. Romeo and Juliet are also nobles, meaning they have a bigger burden of choosing partners that their parents approve of. In the modern era, adolescents are expected to be looked after by others until they go to college/university or find a job. The standards of love have greatly changed and how humans morals have altered our beliefs.