ROMEO AND JULIET: A LOVE STORY?
Ladies of year 10 at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, my name is Rose Eagleton and this year I’ve been to not one, not two, but three professional performances of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is widely considered a beautifully tragic love story. Star-crossed lovers unable to be with each other just because their families are unable to overcome a century-long feud, so as an act of defiance they tragically die in each others arms. It brings a tear to everyone’s eye when Juliet wakes and we are all stunned as she takes her own life to be with the one she loves. But, after 3 performances, you start wonder, “Does she really love him?”, and if she doesn’t, then how can this possibly be the greatest love story of all time?
The obvious point to mention here is their ages. Juliet is “not quite fourteen” and Romeo, well, he is described as “young” and I think we can all agree that Romeo’s passion, romantic idealism and rashness indicates that he is still a fledgling in the grand scheme of things.
It was the summer of 2013. I, a fledgling myself, had a massive crush on a boy who lived in my neighbourhood. It was rather like Romeo and Juliet, to be honest. My parents said I was too young to date, but I told them that they couldn’t keep us apart – I was in love with him!
He texted me, so eloquently, saying, “r u free sat? do u wanna go 2 froyo?” I was so excited- I came five minutes early wearing my favourite dress and he rocked up late wearing boardies. We were so different, yet so meant to be together… Until 9 months later, when, after a disaster-filled first kiss, I broke up with him.
The thing about Romeo and Juliet is that, well, they didn’t know each other for 9 months. They knew each other for 4 days. I’m sure if you had asked me on that Saturday in 2013 if I would marry him, I probably would have said yes. But, 3 years and boatload of failed relationships later, I’m so glad I didn’t marry my first crush.
Romeo and Juliet married on the second day of their relationship. They were separated for the third and on the fourth they both died. Say they spent two hours together at the Capulet’s party, and then another hour at balcony, followed by a half an hour wedding and an hour “hanging out” afterwards, according to my calculations, they spent a total of 4.5 hours in each other’s company before dying for their love. To put that in perspective, that is half of a school day. That’d be like meeting someone in period 1, marrying them in period 2, sitting in separate...