Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review/Let's Talk: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Genre: Classic-Romace

Source: Distributed from School
Series: No
Challenge: Free Reads

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young "star-cross'd lovers" whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. 
It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet and Macbeth, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

     Always the classic, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is a timeless piece of literature.  Everyone wants a love story so real.  Unfortunately, this review will be a bit spoilery because I feel like Romeo and Juliet is pretty well known.  So if you don't know the story, don't keep reading this review!
     When I was assigned to read Romeo and Juliet for english I was excited.  I had always known the story but, had never read the original work, only abridged versions.  That being said, I thought I knew everything about the story.  Before reading the original work, I always thought that insta-love worked only for Romeo and Juliet but, now I'm not convinced.  I thought it was so romantic when I thought they were around 18 and the same age.  Turns out that my English teacher pointed out to me that they are not the same age.  Romeo happens to be older and Juliet is only fourteen.  That's right, fourteen.  Kind of unbelievable, right?!  It turns out that all those movie adaptations were completely inaccurate with casting Juliet.  Also, at first Juliet doesn't want to marry Paris and hasn't even thought about marrying but, the second she meets Romeo, everything changes and all of a sudden she's a hopeless romantic who is willing to die for him.  It's all a little too much and her decision change occurs in less than twelve hours.  Romeo is also grieving over his past relationship at the start of the novel.  He refuses to do anything besides shut himself in his room but, when he meets Juliet, the world is perfect again.  Once again, another hasty decision change.  Turns out that both Romeo and Juliet have fatal flaws: being fickle, hasty, and reckless.  Their flaws ultimately bring them to their demise.
     As for characters, no matter what happens plot-wise, who couldn't love Romeo?  The way he speaks and professes his love for Juliet is so romantic.  Even Juliet speaks in such flowery and light iambic pentameter.  Who couldn't love the balcony scene?  It's so cliche, but I can't help but love it.
     All in all, I'm not really all that sure about how I feel about Romeo and Juliet.  I love the romance and the words but, it's extremely unrealistic.  I don't know what to think.

This is actually incredibly accurate.

1. No matter how far fetched the story and the romance is, I will always love the movie.  Hello, it's Leonardo DiCaprio!

2. I liked the story a lot more when I assumed that they were both around 18 and it was longer than 3 days.

3. Regardless of it's flaws, I'm always down for a classic R&J retelling and can't say no to a classic love story.

Final Grade:
Not sure, but I'm still leaning towards a positive grade.  I can't say that I don't like it because I always enjoy the story.
In essence, this post almost turned into a Let's Talk, so why not?  Write a post and link to it or leave a comment with your take on Romeo and Juliet.  I need help figuring out what rating to give it!



  1. Romeo and Juliet is not a love story as that picture said. It was common during that time to marry so young, so to read it in common day now it is viewed as taboo and frowned upon because of the large age difference and the speedy conclusion of their love. They are star-crossed lovers and that's what made the story so interesting; the feuding families, the deaths (it's Shakespeare, you gotta have death) the characters, the hatred--it was enjoyable and it was different. At the time of Shakespeare, it wasn't cliche.

  2. Have you ever watched the Zeffrelli movie of Romeo and Juliet. That movie is so darn close to the book. They've cast the right ages for everyone and they're the reason why Capulets are classified by red and gold, and the Montagues; blue and green.

    I love Romeo and Juliet. One cannot just hate such a passionate love story.


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