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Romeo and Juliet are too young to be truly in love - they are simply in love with the...

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frolemma | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM via web

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Romeo and Juliet are too young to be truly in love - they are simply in love with the idea of being in love. Agree or Disagree?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM (Answer #1)

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I do not know that they are too young to be in love.  I am not sure that there is some magic age when you get to be capable of being in love.

What I do think is that they have not known each other long enough to actually be in love.  However, that is not to say that they are in love with the idea of being in love.

I think they are infatuated with each other.  That's not the same as love, but it's also not the same as being in love with the idea of being in love.  What they feel is caused by each other, not by some idea.

One way we can see this is that Juliet was not walking around thinking of being in love before she met Romeo.  It's not like she just had to feel like she was in love.  She didn't seem all that interested in love when it came to Paris, but one look at Romeo and it was all over.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 29, 2010 at 9:17 PM (Answer #2)

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That is a good question. I would disagree with the point of view for several reasons. First, from a historical context, it seems that people dealt with adult issues at a younger age back then. Life expectancy was much shorter 400 years ago than today. So, Romeo and Juliet could have dealt with issues of love earlier than people today. Second, I do not think that age plays the most important point in determining love. Some people are much older, but their love is still immature and other are younger and their love is mature. So, it is a case by case basis. The best thing to do is to examine their lives to see if they are mature. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, it seems as though, they were.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted March 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM (Answer #3)

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I do not think that Romeo and Juliet are too young to be in love. It was not unusual for people during this era to fall in love and get married. I do think that one of the reasons that they were drawn to each other is because it was a forbidden love. Their families were bitter enemies and I believe this is one of the reasons they were attracted to one another. Sometimes people are attracted to things that they are not supposed to have.

Romeo and Juliet possessed a great deal of passion for one another so I really do believe that they were soul mates.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:34 PM (Answer #4)

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While I do believe that young people are capable of feeling and believing in love, I do think that Romeo and Juliet are in love with the idea of being in love.  I am not convinced that there is much in the text to reflect that there is a strong understanding of love between the two of them.  Their gazes meet, they are locked in the beauty of the other, their families stand in opposition, both of them go all in to one another- all of these I concede.  Yet, there is little in way of emotional connection or pure understanding of the other in this conception of love.  Instead, I do find that the "love" shared is more an expectation in their mind of what "love" is.  I do not think that love and age have to be automatically linked, but given their youth, I do believe that this played a part in it.  This and the fact that they seem to be more within an infatuation with one another than in actual love.

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

Posted March 29, 2010 at 11:04 PM (Answer #5)

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In the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, the author is at great pains to show us that one character at least,Romeo, is not a total novice to the idea of romantic love. In fact, Shakespeare had any number of options in deciding which order to place scenes in, yet he deliberately chose to put Romeo's heartbreak issues right at the beginning of the play. He is so lovesick for Rosaline that he disocciates himslef from his friends and his appetitie and sleep are impaired. Shakespeare has Romeo realise however, that, he knows true love when he sees it (Juliet) and that his feelings for Rosaline were just puppy love. Juliet alos has the chance of a great (financial ) match with Paris, yet is perfectly well able to compare him unfavorably with a match more suited to her in age.

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