What song can relate to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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One good possible song to relate to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet is "Arc of Time" by Bright Eyes. The song is about death and also contains many images that relate to the play. The first four lines of the first stanza refers to the uncertainty of time and plans because life ends so unexpectedly, which captures the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because, of course, they had planned to live happily ever after. We can see the reference to time sabotaging plans in the lines:

You can make a plan
Carve it into stone
Like a feather falling
It is still unknown. (1-4)

This passage also contains an image that is reminiscent of the play, which is "feather." At the beginning of the play, Romeo refers to the pain of love by calling it a "feather of lead," meaning that love is something that makes your heart both feel light as a feather and as heavy as lead due to the pain. Since both Romeo and Juliet decide to commit suicide because they feel they can't live without each other, we see how the image from this song can both relate to feelings of love in the play and their deaths.

This song also refers to choices in the first stanza and how a person's choices amount to nothing due to death. We see choices referred to in the lines, "You could choose the high / Or the lower road" (7-8). We see the song argue that choices become meaningless due to death in the lines:

As you curse or praise
All the things you've done
And the music dies
As we pass over
On the arc of time. (11-16)

Choices of course relate to Romeo's and Juliet's deaths because they both could have made different choices to prevent their deaths.


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