Modern Romance And Classic Romance: The Difference

Shakespeare: Forbidden romance between teenagers leads to tragedy

Modern Young Adult Fiction Writers: Forbidden romance between teenagers leads to twu luv

It amazes me sometimes how people get the moral to Romeo and Juliet so consistently wrong, to the point where they interpret it to mean the exact opposite of what the text actually conveys.

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2 Responses to Modern Romance And Classic Romance: The Difference

  1. jwds says:

    I don’t really think that’s the difference. R&J doesn’t blame the tragedy on the two young lovers, but on the blind hatred of the adults–just look at the prologue: “…their parents’ rage,/
    Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove…”
    There are some important differences, though:
    -marriage: R&J don’t even consider consummating a physical relationship without a marriage (and a marriage which includes fidelity, honor, and obedience). The difference from the modern is obvious.
    -charity: R’s love for J makes him love even the unlovable Tybalt and strive for peace with him. (Reminiscent of Dante’s love for Beatrice, which moves him to forgive any enemy he meets.) This is also a difference from the modern: when does the young man in the modern forbidden love story strive for peace with the girl’s family?
    -virtue: the reason why the young man in the modern story doesn’t strive for peace is because he’s usually not a virtuous person. Thus, the love is often forbidden for a good reason in the modern story, and the girl simply ignores it. But in R&J, the families suffer from a truly irrational opposition, a familial hatred that doesn’t seem to have actual moral basis and in fact threatens the peace and security of Verona itself.

    • I don’t think either of us are necessarily wrong.

      R&J doesn’t blame the tragedy on the two young lovers, but on the blind hatred of the adults–just look at the prologue: “…their parents’ rage,/
      Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove…”

      This doesn’t actually contradict anything I said – just, “Their children died, it made them stop fighting.”

      I don’t actually disagree with anything you said. I merely think there’s another side to it. Romeo is a creature entirely made of emotion. This is especially evident by his suicide. Nothing he does is thought out or logical. And Juliet, for her part, is a naive girl swept up by a forbidden romance.

      Even the friar realizes the wedding is a bad idea, but he foolishly decides to go ahead with it anyway.

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