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"Love" in Romeo and Juliet

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In Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet,” both Romeo and Juliet commit suicide for their loss of each other. Because of this, their families (Montague and Capulet, respectively) put their differences aside and make peace over the bodies of their children that died for love. But were they really just that? If we apply the psychology of love to analyze Romeo and Juliet’s relationship, Shakespeare’s “star-crossed lovers” aren't as in love as you may think.
The first stage of falling in love is lust. And guess what? When Romeo first saw Juliet, and thought himself to be so in love, all it was was lust. He was blinded by her beauty. Before he talked to her, he didn’t know her at all. And when he did start to talk to her? He was asking her to kiss him. A lot. He played it up, and was very smooth about it, but what teenage boy wouldn’t try to be smooth if he were trying to get a kiss from a girl he thought was hot.
The second stage of love is attraction, or the state of being infatuated with someone. You know, like thinking that a person is perfect, could never make a mistake, maybe even that, “She shows torches how to shine brightly.” There is undoubtedly elements of infatuation in their relationship. Everything from Juliet not really caring that Romeo killed her cousin Tybalt (albeit on accident) to Romeo killing himself because he thought Juliet was dead, infatuation is clearly a huge element in Romeo and Juliet.
And finally, love. It is undeniable that they thought they were in love with each other. But, more recent studies show that to fall in love with someone, you need to spend about 10 hours a week with someone for a certain amount of weeks (it can vary from 4 to 10). It doesn’t really matter how many weeks however, as they only knew each other a few days before they got married. Also, before Romeo met Juliet, he (thought) was completely in love with Rosaline, but as soon as he saw Juliet, he basically completely forgot about her (she’s barely mentioned later in the play).
As good a writer as Shakespeare was, it’s possible he intended it to seem this way. Although love is a major plot device in Romeo and Juliet, according to modern psychology, Romeo and Juliet were never actually in love.


Works Cited
"The Science of Love." The Science of Love. Your Amazing Brain, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.




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