Homework Help

Are Romeo and Juliet really in love, or is it just lust? Are Romeo and Juliet really...

user profile pic

bluefish44 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2008 at 2:38 AM via web

dislike 1 like
Are Romeo and Juliet really in love, or is it just lust? 

Are Romeo and Juliet really in love, or is it just lust? Do they die because they are not really in love? I notice Romeo is very quick to fall in love with another woman...

7 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted November 19, 2008 at 10:15 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

This is a difficult question, and as usual, it depends on your own interpretation of the play and its events.

It's certainly true that Romeo changes beloved very fast: though he supposedly "loves" Rosaline (though there is absolutely no indication that he actually has ever spoken to her) at the Capulet party he falls immediately in love with Juliet.

Is it just lust? Is the couple's hasty marriage just an excuse to have sex (Juliet certainly looks forward to it in her hugely sexual soliloquy "Gallop apace...")? Perhaps: you can read the haste either as teenage, sexual love or as the necessary propulsion of love at first sight. It's our job as readers to evaluate: Shakespeare doesn't provide any answers. All the interpretations could be - and have been, in the theatre - supported by the text.

And as for why the couple die - well, it certainly isn't because of their love, lust or lack of either. Their tragedy occurs, again, depending on how you interpret the text, either because their love is "death-marked", picked out in the stars to end disastrously or because of a series of inexplicable, random accidents that conspire against them (Mercutio's death, the non-delivery of Friar John's letter, and then - crucially - the arrival of Romeo at the tomb only five minutes before Juliet awoke).

So ... it's down to you, really, to decide what you think Shakespeare intended!

user profile pic

bluefish44 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 3, 2008 at 2:56 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

Thank you so much Robert William,

Your comments were so help-full to me!  I agree that you can put your own twist/views with Shakespeare and he really did raise a lot of valid points about love in Romeo & Juliet!

 

Thanks again... people like you really help students like me.

Australia

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 3, 2008 at 3:38 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

"Are Romeo and Juliet really in love, or is it just lust?"

Are they in Love!?! Holy Smoke! These are the two most famous young lovers in history! You could interpret it another way. You could call them stupid, or childish, or lustful. You could cynically mock and say, "he loved this other girl two days ago" or, "she's only fourteen". But why would you want to? That's exactly what their parents would say! Romeo and Juliet is a story about goofy giddy teenagers. There are any number of ways of rationalising it into something cold and ordinary, if you wanted to.

But... It is the most incredibly moving and beautiful portrayal of passionate love in history. A play with so much essence of how it feels to fall hopelessly in love that watching makes your heart ache. It is heavy with love. And with love comes sexual desire. But Romeo and Juliet are far more than just horny teenagers!!! You could take Romeo and Juliet to pieces looking for pscho-analytical tick-boxes. But please don't.

They are two young people deeply in love, surrounded by people who don't understand how that feels. That is what most definitely what Shakespeare wanted to you experience. It is a love story.

user profile pic

robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 3, 2008 at 6:07 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

Thank you so much Robert William,

Your comments were so help-full to me!  I agree that you can put your own twist/views with Shakespeare and he really did raise a lot of valid points about love in Romeo & Juliet!

 

Thanks again... people like you really help students like me.

Australia

No worries - glad to help!

user profile pic

rlendensky | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 7, 2008 at 1:41 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

I think it's difficult to say, I would not say that Romeo and Juliet were truly in love (maybe I'm a skeptic but love at first sight is much less likely than lust at first sight). However, I also would not classify what they had as lust either. Considering the age of the characters in question, I would classify what the had as more of a "puppy love." Had this have been lust rather than love or even "puppy love" the characters would have essentially given up on each other as soon as their respective families learned of their relationship.

However, if you go back to the intention of Shakespeare when he wrote this story, he did want this to be the story of two youths in love who are misunderstood by a foolish feud. However, if you look at it from a contemporary perspective Romeo and Juliet is more a story of puppy love than lust or true love.

user profile pic

rosette | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 2, 2009 at 7:51 PM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like
Are Romeo and Juliet really in love, or is it just lust? 

Are Romeo and Juliet really in love, or is it just lust? Do they die because they are not really in love? I notice Romeo is very quick to fall in love with another woman...

Good Lord.was it love?.You bet your sweet bippy it was.It was deep, it was profound , philosophical, hopeless even.Juliet had to cross over boundaries against her better judgement to be with romeo..but she just could not stop this force greater ..than her ..greater than romance even.She found it difficult to understand Romeo...at any time.H e was  very different to her.,but ,she tried.She tried to let go too..but, the bonds were stronger than any other bonds.The  ties could not be cut. '' oh Romeo Romeo..why for you do this to me Romeo?''When they were together they were in heaven ..no matter what was happenning to others and around them.They could laugh and cry ..at the same time. NO MATTER WHAT THEIR AGES WERE ..THEY WERE YOUNG LIKE TWO TEENS..EVEN IN OLD AGE.ROMEO COULD BE AN OLD MAN TOO.He also could be happy and sad at the same time.Death was the only es cape in the end, or way out ..and it was Romeo ..as usual that had to go .He delivered ..alot after his passing.and Juliet was freed then .Freedom is what they both aspired to..and yet ..when together they always knew they were free.Now ...you can cry.,but, it was a happy story really ..all the way.Love cures all ills...even in society.God bless Romeo and Juliet.

user profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 18, 2010 at 8:24 AM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

Both Romeo and Juliet fall in “love” quickly, but they are presented from very differing perspectives. Romeo falls in and out of love quickly--look at Rosaline. Juliet, however, does not want to marry the man her father has picked. Perhaps while they tried to convince themselves they were in “love” it is really more a matter of convenience for both of them.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes