Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare | Teen Ink

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

June 12, 2013
By xxEliseWang SILVER, Toronto, Other
xxEliseWang SILVER, Toronto, Other
6 articles 4 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All is grace."-Ann Voskamp


If love is blind, lust makes lovers blind. Youthful hearts are so easily deceived by the illusion of love that they intensely desire. The two star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet were no exception. Upon Romeo’s urgent request to marry Juliet, Friar Lawrence stated, “Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” (II, 3, 71-72) This is a recurring theme reflected throughout the most prominent chain of events that led to the tragedy. Romeo’s feverish obsession with Rosaline was followed by the sudden change of heart the moment he laid eyes on Juliet, which resulted in their quick and purely physical relationship. They were essentially two teenage strangers who found each other attractive and got married in three days. Romeo and Juliet did not truly love each other, but rather were in love with each other’s beauty.
In the beginning of the play, Romeo’s lovesickness for Rosaline had no foundation except for how charmingly beautiful she was to him. When Romeo’s cousin Benvolio advised him to seek other women he retorted, “Show me a mistress that is passing fair; / What doth her beauty serve but as a note/ where I may read who passed that passing fair?” (I, 1, 243-5) His object of devoted affection seemed to correspond directly with the fairest lady he knew at the given time. Romeo also described Rosaline as “…the devout religion of mine eye” (I, 3, 95) This illustrates how Romeo almost worshipped Rosaline’s image because he was obsessed with her beauty. Throughout the entire time when Romeo mused about his love for Rosaline, he never actually once noted a significant inner quality or virtue of hers, except to simply deem outer “beauty” synonymous with “goodness”.
Romeo’s feverish and tormented affections for Rosaline dissipated almost instantly the moment he saw Juliet. If he really had loved Rosaline, seeing another perhaps greater beauty would not have moved him at all. This further shows how Romeo’s heart had belonged to Rosaline solely because of her exquisite beauty and nothing more. Upon meeting Juliet at the party he exclaimed, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, for I never saw true beauty till this night.” (I, 5, 59-60) Romeo is characterized by his tendency to swoon at the sight of attractive women and mistake that sensation for so-called love. However, what he didn’t realize is that it is virtually impossible to fall in love with someone at first sight, because at that moment all that is known about them is how attractive they are. One can argue that at that moment, Romeo did indeed fall in love—with Juliet’s image but not with Juliet herself.
One very interesting detail of their star-crossed relationship is how they never bothered to get to know each other, up until and even after they were married. Purely drawn to each other’s looks and bodies, they would muse about their love for each other in all kinds of poetic forms but none of it contained any substance. Juliet declared to Romeo on her balcony after proposing marriage: “Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, which is the god of my idolatry.” (II, 2, 119-120) Interestingly enough, Romeo once said something similar about Rosaline, indicating how their love is compared to that of a worshipper towards a superior being or god. Juliet idolized Romeo just as much as Romeo did Juliet—but their source was no deeper than skin. If they had been alive together for perhaps another month, if not a year, and were thus forced to finally connect on levels above sex, Romeo and Juliet would likely not be the star-crossed lovers remembered to this day.
Romeo was too emotionally wrecked and Juliet much too young for either to understand the true meaning of love. Juliet was charmed and overwhelmed by this handsome young man who kissed her hand, and Romeo had completely missed the point of what it meant to love somebody. They revered each other like the face of God, and were intoxicated and addicted to the pleasures of the flesh. However, because of their love-drunken state they were ignorant of the fact that they were still technically strangers. They did not learn in time that love is a commitment built on more than emotion and sensuality; love is founded on a mutual understanding, trust and the joy of loving a person from the inside out with all their flaws and perfections. True love is infinitely deeper than what the eye can see.


The author's comments:
A short persuasive essay :)

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