”O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet”
Romeo and Juliet- probably one of the most famous plays ever written in English history. It is about two young people who fall deeply in love, despite the fact that their families have hated each other for decades. The story combines fighting, disguise, misunderstanding, tragedy, humor, and some of the most romantic language found in literature, all in the name of true love.
It all takes place in Verona, Italy in the late 1500’s. Two incredibly powerful families, the Montague’s and the Capulet’s have had a feud going on for many years. And nothing seemed to change between any of the members of the two families, until Juliet’s father throws a huge party in which he invites all of his friends. The party is of course not for Montague’s, but Romeo manages to sneak in so that he would get a look at Rosaline; a young girl he has a crush on. Once he get inside his attention is stolen; not by Rosaline, but by Juliet. They have never met before, and they immediately fall in love, unaware of the background of one another. They later find that out, and it is a great disappointment to both of them.
Later that night Juliet goes out to the balcony to tell the stars about her forbidden love to Romeo. What she does not know is that Romeo is hiding in the bushes below, and hears everything, and after a while he reveals himself. This takes place in the “Balcony scene”, which is the most famous part of the play.
Later on Romeo and Juliet get married, without their families knowing it, which is really complicated alone. But things get all the more messed up when Juliet’s father forces her to marry another young man named Paris. In despair Juliet seeks counsel from Friar Laurence, the man who married them. And he tells Juliet to agree to the marriage, but gives her a poison to drink at the day of the wedding. This will make her look dead, and she will be put into the family vault. Then he would send a letter to Romeo, and he will come and rescue her. Juliet does as she is told, and she’s put into the vault by her heartbroken family. But bad news travels faster then letters, and Romeo gets the news first. Overcome with grief, he buys poison and goes to the tomb to die beside his wife.
Moments later, Juliet awakes to see her husband’s dead body beside her. And with no reason left to live, Juliet kills herself with Romeo’s dagger. The tragedy has a tremendous impact on the two families. And they are hurt so much by the death of their children, so they agree never to fight again.
Juliet Capulet is one of the main characters in this story. She is only fourteen years of age, so she’s really young. And yet she falls deeply and passionately in love with Romeo, a member of the hated Montague’s.
Juliet is obviously a very central figure, as the title says. She comes from this rich and wealthy family, but she can’t have a very easy life. She’s always told what to do and what to say, and her parents have literary planed her entire future without her knowing anything. And it must be hard as a fourteen year old to be told that if you don’t marry a man you have met once or twice, you will no longer be the daughter of your father. Especially when you all ready are secretly married. But as told earlier on in the text, she does find a way to solve her problems. Only things don’t go exactly as their planed. Young and naive, Juliet is blinded by love for Romeo, which leads them both into their death.
There are many different reasons for why this play still is popular today, it all really depends on how each individual sees it. One of the reasons is probably that it’s written by the world wide, famous writer William Shakespeare. Everyone has heard of him, and since this maybe is his greatest, or at least most famous work, it’s not so strange that people are interested.
I think the play is still of current interest because it has all the ingredients we want a story to have. We can see it in almost every film, or soap opera for that matter. A bit of humor, a bit of drama and misunderstandings, fighting and passion, and last but not least; love. Love stories will just never be out of date.
It’s the most written theme in songs, movies, books and poetry. Maybe because people always search for love? And this story really gives us true love. No matter what gets in their way, their love is still strong, even death can’t separate them. This is also a part that makes this story unique, because it doesn’t have a typical happy ending. Romeo and Juliet is a different kind of love story. It’s a story of forbidden love, which makes it all the more exiting.
So maybe this is the main reason for the popularity of this play; true love. What do I know? But one thing I do know is that this play will continue to be popular for centuries to come.