romeo and juliet cynical reading

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little essay on how romeo and juliet didn't actually love each other

Submitted: May 10, 2017

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Submitted: May 10, 2017



Margaux Andrieux

G Block

Mr. Lee

May 5th, 2017

English Essay - Romeo and Juliet Cynical Reading

William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, tells the story of a young adult and a teenager from two families hate each other. Romeo and Juliet fall in love at first sight and end up committing suicide because they cannot be together due to Romeo’s exile. Romeo is a Montague, and his friends say he is a person who falls in love often, Juliet on the other hand is a Capulet about 14 years old who her parents want to marry Paris; but she is uninterested in marrying anyone yet, she thinks she is too young and would only marry Paris to please her parents. A couple of seconds after Romeo and Juliet see each other for the first time, they say they love each other and immediately want to get married.

In reality, they are acting like children on a playground, one being as as irresponsible and as ignorant about love as the other and cannot possibly love each other after a couple of minutes. They also fell in love with each other’s physical looks, they go on and on and on about how beautiful the other one is, and how they desire their body in sexual ways. And lastly, the idea of escaping their present problems by being together sounds easy, although Juliet managed to fail at that because she still ends up having to marry Paris. Because of their age and foolish ways, instead instead of loving each other, they are both actually chasing an escape to their problems; Romeo is trying to get over a girl who doesn’t love him back nor want to get married at any point in her life, and Juliet is trying to avoid getting married to Paris, who she hasn’t even met, by being married to Romeo, their age also explain why they were attracted sexually to each other so fast. As a result of all of this, Romeo and Juliet are actually not in love, trying to find a way to escape their problems and “judging a book by it’s cover”, meaning they fell in love with each other’s bodies.

The first thing that proves that Romeo and Juliet aren’t in love, is because they’re both searching for a way to escape their current problems. Romeo isn’t in love with Juliet, because he is still in love with Rosaline, and trying to get over her. Minutes before meeting Juliet, Romeo was stressing over Rosaline and how she didn’t love him back and had no interest in getting married. The only reason Romeo went to the Capulets’ party was to see Rosaline. Before the party, when the Capulets’ servant asked Romeo to read the list of the invited guests, Romeo saw Rosaline’s name, which motivated him to sneak into the party. In Act 1 scene 3, Romeo says “I’ll go along…to rejoice in splendor of mine own” (33). This line proves how Romeo is only going to the ball to see Rosaline, although Benvolio was trying to convince him to go so that he can look at other girls to really get over Rosaline. What caused Romeo to end up heartbroken in the first place was Rosaline not loving him back, “…well in that hit you miss. she’ll not be hit with cupid’s arrow…from love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed” (25). This line tells the cause of Romeo’s depression, which causes him to go to the ball after seeing Rosaline’s name under the invites’ list. Minutes after sneaking into the party, Romeo sees Juliet and says, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night (53).” Romeo is saying he has never seen a girl as beautiful as Juliet in his life, but days before this, he was claiming Rosaline was the most beautiful girl “O, she is rich in beauty, only poor that, when she dies, with beauty dies her store” (25). Beauty will die when Rosaline does, according to Romeo. With this, it is unclear to readers which of the two girls is most beautiful and which of the two girls Romeo truly loves. Romeo is obviously confused, and trying to forget Rosaline with Juliet who, just like Rosaline, is a Capulet, and is beautiful. With a line said by Romeo later in the story, it becomes clear that the only reason Romeo is with Juliet is because she would return his love, unlike Rosaline, “Her I love now Doth grace for grace and love for love allow. The other did not so (89)”. Here, Romeo says to Friar Lawrence, that unlike Rosaline, Juliet loves him back, that being one of the reasons he loves her. When combined together, the fact that Juliet loves Romeo back unlike Rosaline, and he’s so rapidly forgetting Rosaline with Juliet’s beauty, is enough evidence to prove Romeo is not truly in love with Juliet, instead he is using Juliet to replace Rosaline.

Juliet on the other hand, is not in love with Romeo either. She is actually just trying to avoid marrying Paris. Juliet has no want to marry Paris which influenced her feelings towards Romeo, her not wanting to marry him became a reason to “love” Romeo. In earlier scenes, as her mother talks her into becoming interested in Paris, Juliet repeatedly declined it.

“Lady Capulet: How stands your disposition to be married?

Juliet: It is an honor that i dream not of.” (Act 1, Scene 3 pg. 39)

Although Lady Capulet’s desire is for Juliet to marry Paris, Juliet clearly does not want to get married and is opposed to doing so. Eventually, marrying Romeo seems to her as a way to avoid marrying Paris and being miserable from marrying a man she was not interested in, althought she didn’t know him yet. This is also the reason Juliet drank the potion later in the story. Romeo was exiled from Verona and the Capulets were arranging a wedding between Juliet and Paris, but Juliet did not want to marry Paris since she was already married to Romeo, causing her to drink a potion and later on die because of the plan that surrounded the potion. “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee.”(Act 4 Scene 3 pg 193). Juliet drinks the potion in the name of Romeo because she does not want to marry Paris and is scared that she might never hear from Romeo again. They are both using each other to escape relationships with other people.

The last reason is that Romeo and Juliet aren’t in love, they are in lust. Just seconds before meeting Juliet, Romeo is still in love with Rosaline, which means that while Romeo found himself in love with Juliet, he was still in love with someone else, concluding that he was in love with two girls at the same time. Also, Romeo’s love toward Juliet doesn’t seem to come from his heart, instead it comes from his eyes. When Romeo confesses to Friar Lawrence that he’s in love with Juliet, Lawrence responds with, “Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes (89)’. Lawrence’s quote proves that Romeo doesn’t truly love Juliet with his heart, but with his eyes.  Love, as many may know it, is supposed to come from the heart, instead of the eyes, but Romeo doesn’t seem to fit into that category.

Romeo and Juliet’s relationship consists of infatuation. Their short lived passion consisted of temporary feelings that are difficult to identify due to how young they are. On one end, Romeo is a young guy who is known to fall in love often. In a conversation between Romeo and Mercutio, Mercutio says “You are a lover. Borrow Cupid’s wings and soar with them above a common bound” (Act 1 scene 4 pg. 43).  Mercutio is saying that Romeo loves often, and that he can give his love to a new girl as he has done in the past. Therefore, since Romeo falls in love so many times, this new act of love is different from his previous ones.  Juliet was only 13 years old, and has never been in a relationship before. In Act 1 scene 2, Capulet tells Paris this, “My child is yet a stranger in the world. She hath not seen the change of fourteen years” (27). Capulet is saying to Paris that Juliet has had no experience with the real world, in other world she has never been in a relationship or left her parents’ house. This quote can be used to prove that Juliet really felt no love for Rome, because she is claiming to be in love with Romeo although she had never been in love with anyone before. How could someone know what love is if they have yet to be in a relationship with someone? Neither Romeo nor Juliet know what love is.

In conclusion, based on all the evidence, any reader can fill in the blanks and realize that Romeo and Juliet’s love was entirely fantasized. They didn’t love each other, they mistook attraction for love, were using this love to escape realities by getting over a person who did not return the love or avoiding marriage with an unwanted person. Romeo and Juliet was not a love story at all, although it truly was a tragedy because two young kids took their lives over something they convinced themselves to believe in.


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