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In what way was Romeo and Juliet's love typical of adolescence, and what way is it not?

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mrusso93 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted March 20, 2008 at 7:04 AM via web

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In what way was Romeo and Juliet's love typical of adolescence, and what way is it not?

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jlcannad | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted March 20, 2008 at 7:12 AM (Answer #1)

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Wow.  This really depends on what you consider to be a "typical" love between adolescents.  They certainly fall in love quickly.  Romeo is in love with another girl when he sees Juliet, and almost immediately he renounces his old "love" and is seeking some sign of love from Juliet.  So, do you consider that mercurial change a sign of adolescence or do you think it was just Romeo?

They also risk a lot to have a relationship.  Juliet is well aware that her father intends for her to marry someone else and living in that society, she knows the consequences for disobeying her father could be very severe.  She is willing to risk that displeasure in order to be with Romeo.  Again, do you think that willingness to anger others is typical of adolescence, or do you think Juliet is just being herself?

And finally, they are very quick to make a binding agreement in front of the friar, wanting to make their relationships as permanent as possible given that their parents don't know what they've done.  So what you have to ask yourself is this... Is it typical of adolescence to try and make a relationship permanent or do you think they're different from modern teens.

Without knowing what you consider to be the typical teenage relationship, I'm afraid I can't be much help, but hopefully this gives you something to think about. 

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 21, 2008 at 9:57 AM (Answer #2)

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Romeo and Juliet's love in Shakespeare tragic play is dominated by rash decision making, a lack of proper communication, and impulse behavior.  Adolescents are constantly making decisions without thinking of the consequences.  Young people caught up in passion like Romeo and Juliet engage in adult behaviors without considering what happens next.    They are highly emotionally driven in their decision making.  Logic does not enter into the process.  

So their impulsiveness and highly charged emotionally driven decision making mark them as adolescents.  Where they act  more maturely is in the methods in which they carry out their ill-fated plan.  They do involve adults in their plot, it is very clever, but the communication is too limited to keep them out of harm's way.  Ultimately,  their miscommunication leads to their deaths.

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