Romeo and Juliet: Love vs. Lust

March 23, 2010
By , Lodi, WI
We all know the classic love story, or have at least heard of, Romeo and Juliet. The dark tale, written by none other than William Shakespeare, tells the story of two young lovers who, because of their feuding families, can’t have their relationship known. The story ends with the unification of the families (Montagues and Capulets) after Romeo and Juliet kill themselves. However, this traditional tale of love may be nothing more than a tragic tale of lust.

While most good relationships take years to build, Romeo and Juliet met two hours before they decided to get married. They had never met before and didn’t even know each other’s names before they exchanged passionate kisses at the Capulet’s party. Talk about rushing things!

Second, Romeo and Juliet are supposed to be very young. Romeo is seventeen or eighteen while Juliet is only thirteen. Their feelings are hormone-driven. Romeo decided he was in love with Juliet, just from her looks, before they even spoke to each other. They are so young and haven’t met enough people to know who their “soul-mate” is. Many adults don’t even know exactly what they’re looking for in love. Why should they rush into things with one person when they have their adult lives ahead of them to decide whom they want to be with?

Finally, Romeo and Juliet are broken-hearted. Romeo was still in love with a girl named Rosaline the night he met Juliet. This young lady was going to become a nun and couldn’t possibly have a relationship with Romeo. However, Rosaline was the reason Romeo attended the party in the first place! Juliet was supposed to marry a man named Paris, but marriage was not what she wanted. When she met Romeo, he provided somewhat of an escape from that broken-heartedness for her as she did for him. Romeo was someone Juliet could choose and vice-versa, which made them seem more attractive to one another. Both Romeo and Juliet had broken hearts, which fueled their sudden changes in emotion. This is not what a healthy relationship should be based on.

The story of Romeo and Juliet is used by society to represent true love, but love is not the real name for what is felt between the two. The relationship between young Romeo and Juliet was rushed and immature. It was hormone-driven (those darn teenagers!) and fueled by their broken hearts. While the story is entertaining and classic, it is not an accurate representation of a healthy relationship, much less a good representation of love. This story is one of tragedy, conflict, and most of all, lust.

Join the Discussion

This article has 19 comments. Post your own now!

Romeo and Juliet said...
Feb. 13 at 4:18 pm
You are right because Juliet didn't want to marry Paris but she married Romeo when she said that she wasn't going to marry anyone but she she married Romeo.
Romeo and Juliet said...
Feb. 13 at 4:18 pm
You are right because Juliet didn't want to marry Paris but she married Romeo when she said that she wasn't going to marry anyone but she she married Romeo.
CryBaby said...
Sept. 14, 2016 at 2:40 am
Romeo and Juliet are not in love. They couldn't possibly be. I mean, they only knew each other a few hours, and suddenly they're engaged. Elsa was onto something when she told Anna you can't marry (love) a man you just met. All it was an infatuation or 'love at first sight', which would mean they fell in love based solely of looks which makes their 'love' shallow and vain. And think about it. If they hadn't killed themselves, do you really think they would last. They don't know anything about ea... (more »)
MuslimahThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm
Your right, romeo and juliet is presented in society as though there hasn't ever been better relationships which is completely false there has been a number of much beautiful and magnificent relationships. There was no existence of love between them only lust and attraction but NO AFFECTION WHATSOEVER!
hiimboss said...
Dec. 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm
Shes 12 get it right #yourwelcome
Little replied...
Jan. 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm
Actually, she's 13, almost 14.
Elmo0631 said...
Jun. 10, 2014 at 11:11 am
All of you are wrong. Romeo and Juliet is NOT a love story!! It is a tragic comedy. It is NOT a love story
Awesomefishguy replied...
May 27, 2015 at 8:35 pm
This whole thing centers around love, of course it's a love story!
MrCearl said...
Sept. 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm
I think this is a little harsh on poor R+M. True I think the play is on young love rather than true love and while the former can become the latter it is often marked by its impermanence. Nevertheless young love is still love, the feelings felt by young lovers are just as genuine as those felt by more mature lovers, for BOTH are driven by hormones. The tradgedy of the play is that the young lover's tale can not be fully played out due to the circumstances of their two families trying to forc... (more »)
FlUiCfKe replied...
Apr. 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm
I see what you are trying to say, but the point of this controversial topic is the argument of where or not this "young love" or lust is actual love. It's my opinion that they couldn't have loved eachother because they were way to young, and I'm not some crotchety old person arguing this, I'm the same age as Juliet was at the time she was wed to Romeo. So, I think that I have a generally good idea on the emotions running through the mind of someone that age. Honestly, o... (more »)
cimfamlove4ever said...
Aug. 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm
finally! someone who agrees with me about Romeo and Juliet. Romeo is so fickle. If Juliet had really died and he didn't kill himself, he probably would have found another girl the next day or eventually gotten over Juliet's death and moved on. Same thing with Juliet, she was only 13. She would have eventually found someone else.
onXtheXrealXemma said...
Feb. 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm
can i get a citation for this essay?
Nick5 said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm
This article has some interesting points. My class is reading Midsummer Night's Dream: in it two of the characters, Lysander and Hermia, are in love. But!Hermia's father, Egues, does not want Hermia to marry Lysander, but he wants her to marry Demetrius. Why am I telling you this? Because, in the Elizabethian era ( a.k.a. Shakespeare's time) marriage was considered the joining of two families, it was not out of love! Also, Shakespeare poked fun at love and marriage, calling it a... (more »)
happyboat said...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm
You have to remember the time they lived in. In those days, people did not live as long as they do now. Furthermore, women did not traditionally stay single all their lives. Marriage was something that had to happen before sex in those days. As for being idiots and cowards, they were young, so they perhaps made mistakes. But a theme of Romeo and Juliet is innocence: they were too young and innocent to be able to handle such an adult situation in the way it should have been handled. That doesn't ... (more »)
Quinney-Bear said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 8:34 am
i think Roneo and Juliet were idiots and cowards because they knew eachother for one and a half days. and in that time zone got married and insted of telling there parents killed themselves
pigsahoy replied...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm
They were immature and rushed their relationship. The basis of their idiocy cannot be that they didn't tell "there parents" (it's 'their,' by the way)-- their families were and had been feuding for a long time. Imagine if they did tell their parents. The Montague and Capulet parents would not be forgiving.
MangoMadness replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Yeah. You can tell you've never been in love before. Or at least are extremely unforgivingly judgmental.
$inamon replied...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 8:39 am
I agree With you mango!
Elmo0631 replied...
Jun. 10, 2014 at 11:15 am
i agree with pigsahoy for the most part, but this is  a story about lust more than love. It is basically a story about two teenage kids thinking with the wrong parts of there bodies that lead to many deaths.
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