Given that Romeo and Juliet "fell in love" or became attracted to each other so quickly...were they truly genuinely in love?? So if they didn't die (and perhaps if they have been able to runaway...

Given that Romeo and Juliet "fell in love" or became attracted to each other so quickly...were they truly genuinely in love??

So if they didn't die (and perhaps if they have been able to runaway together or something), do you think their love/relationship would have lasted?? Explain your reasoning. Thanks.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This depends so much on your idea of what true love is and what infatuation is.  Where is the line anyway?

I guess if I had to choose I would say it is infatuation.  In Act I, Scene 5, Romeo falls in love with Juliet just by seeing her.  He has never even spoken to her and yet he is in love.  What could that be but infatuation based on her looks?

You can also argue that he is just infatuated because he can't wait to find some way to marry her legitimately.  Instead, he marries her in secret, hurriedly, and that leads to both of them dying.

So his love seems immature.  And I guess you could say, therefore, that it is just infatuation.

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johncraig1978 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It is difficult to answer that question categorically. They are certainly infatuated with each other, as the imagery of their speech would testify. Romeo, for example, eschews conventional religious references in his praise for Juliet's beauty preferring to compare her to the stars and moon in the sky above them (Act 2, scene 2). Romantic? Most certainly. Lasting? possibly, but this is a peripheral issue in my opinion.

Classical tragedy (in the Aristotelean sense) centres on the tragic flaw (hamartia) of the main protagonist - the hero. In R&J, we are presented with two main protagonists, a 'pair of star cross'd lovers' who are fated to die for their love (see Prologue). Their flaw, which to a large degree they share, is that they love "not wisely, but too well" to steal from Othello. Classical tragedy also requires the hero to die, after a period of pathos and catharsis in the audience, who forgive him for his fault. In R&J, the audience certainly pities the lovers, but also bemoans the impetuous nature of their love. It is necessary that they die to maintain the integrity of the tragic plot, in other words.

We are presented with an all consuming passion, that burns both characters up; they cannot survive whilst they are apart. And because of the history of bad blood and emnity between the families, they cannot make their love known for fear of reprisal from parties within their families; Tybalt, for one, hates peace.

The secrecy and urgency of their relationship is a reflection of both the intensity of their feelings for each other, but also of their youth, and it may be this consideration that would persuade most people to suggest that it might not last.

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blacksheepunite eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lust, yes. Love? Romeo, and arguably Juliet as well, can't tell the difference. The only real difference between his infatuation with Juliet and his infatuation with Rosaline is that with Juliet it is requited. Recall how he said he made it into Juliet's courtyard? Love's light wings helped him leap over the wall, and he says in return he lent Love eyes. Love must refer to Cupid, then, and that guy is all about lust.
Juliet does often say the right things; however, her actions are not always consistent with what she says. For instance, before she goes to the party she tells her mother that she will look at Paris (if look to liking move) but will only look with eyes that her mother would permit. When she meets Romeo, she seems to forget that she even has parents. She and Romeo are heavily into their "relationship" before they even know each other's names. One might argue that they recognize true love immediately; however, they haven't actually talked to each other about anything other than their flirtation.Everything about their "love" is impulsive and sudden. Yes, Juliet knows better, but almost as quickly as she voices concern, she acts in accordance with her impulse. Neither acts in one another's best interest, and neither seems genuinely concerned with the other's well being.

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meowmix eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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That is tough to say. I lean towards no. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is deeply in love with Rosalind. All it took for Romeo to forget her was seeing Juliet. What is stop him from looking at another young lady that will pay attention to him and feel the same way?

Juliet does have some major reservations about their love as well. In the balcony scene, she is worried about Romeo's commitment to her. She's the more leveled headed out of the two so for her to say something like that is significant.

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mary1234567890 | Student

First, Romeo has done this before. He was totally, wholly in love with Rosaline, this unattainable figure of beauty and purity. He mourns her constantly to all who will listen. Not even a minute later, he's at the Capulet ball declaring "that girl" (Juliet) as the only one he could ever love. Within minutes, he has complemented her & flirted her up with his same (by the book) "moves". And then they are kissing! Hello?! Romeo is this crazed-up, hormonal, lusty teen boy wanting to satisfy his hunger for attractive, young girls, obviously.

If he is in love, it's with himself or with the IDEA of being in love. Definitely not Juliet. All he wants out of her is a one-night stand if you know what I mean...Juliet on the other hand is a little clearer in the head & less impulsive, thinking Romeo is a bit typical with his flirtations (meaningless). Needless to say, she gives in to her hormones also & acts just like Romeo with his nonsensical love. It's lusty, lusty, lusty infatuation/attraction. NOTHING more. Certainly not love after just meeting and not even knowing each others' names or personality.

Like Friar Lawrence says, the wise run slow. If they had been slower in their mad-cap hormonal race, they might have realized that they probably didn't even love each other in the first place & maybe they wouldn't have resorted to the EXTREME measures of KILLING themselves after THREE days of knowing each other!!!!!!!!!!!

**Sorry for all the exclamations & capitals, I just can't believe them. Shakespeare must be mocking them...

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ereek1 | Student

both romeo and juliet are both very young. when your that young your so keen to fall in love because thats one thing everyone whats to experience and i think they rushed into that too quick. Although throughout the play juliet is guided by her feelings for romeo and develops very quickly into a capable and mature women. Romeo also didn't think he could feel this way about someone before. so its hard to tell if they were genuinely in love or it was just lust?

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captague | Student

No, they were infatuated. There are 3 levels of love. 1.infatuation 2.physical attraction and 3.true \"caring/sharing\" love. they were infatuated because in sneaking around trying to see juliet, not caring if he got killed romeo proved he didn\'t care whether his \"lover\" was in agony at the death of him. Infatuation also bares another strange trait: haste. They meet, fall \"in love\", get married and kill themselves all in under a week. Love takes longer. Sometimes, years.

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xtremegal90 | Student

Petty love is represented in the "lovesick" Romeo towards Rosaline. He praises her beauty, moans about her not returning his love,sheds affected tears for his plight. Mercutio and the Friar both are aware of the shallowness of Romeo’s ‘love’ for Rosaline.

Romeo’s genuine and passionate love of Juliet stands out prominently. From the moment Romeo meets Juliet at the Capulet’s ball, his affected love for Rosaline vanishes. He puts aside his sentimentality and artificiality. True love takes complete possession of his mind and soul and becomes the driving force in his life. After meeting Juliet, even Romeo’s language undergoes a great change; it becomes more simple, pure, and lucid, truly the language of the heart. He is no longer a dreamy, but a practical young man who lays plans for marriage to the woman he loves

True love knows no limits. It drives Romeo and Juliet to ignore the barriers of family feud and to defy parental authority. It finds a way to consummate a marriage in spite of Romeo’s exile and the danger involved in his staying in Verona overnight. It finds a way to prevent Juliet from marrying Paris. It finds a way, through death, to unite the lovers eternally. Romeo and Juliet have become immortal by the power of their ‘passionate’ love. Truly, this young couple shows how love can conquer all things.<33


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xtremegal90 | Student

I personally think the Friar was right about Romeo when he says Young men's love lies in their eyes, not in their hearts. I really assume that the love between them was just puppy love. Look at realisticly. How do you love a person when you know nothing about the person, not even their name? And i also believe that Romeo is just in love with the concept of being in love. Example, he quickly fell out of love for Rosaline and fell in love with Juliet. Why? Maybe Juliet was more attractive than Rosaline. Well, whoop-dee-doo what if he happens to come across a more beautiful girl than Juliet. I cant help but question his commitment towards her.

As for Juliet, she is definately the more matured-thinking one out of the two but she also shows her immaturity where in the Frair's crib, like Romeo, she offers to stab herself. Maybe Romeo's immaturity rubbed off on her. Hehe.

Well the whole thing between them was a little too fast,in my opinion, but i also have my arguements to say Romeo and Juliet ARE in true love.You know the saying, true love comes once in a lifetime right? So it might be that their love for one another IS that true love that came once in their lifetime. Here, I have my points arguing the oppersite below this.

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ninjagoalie | Student

Romeo and Juliet were definitely not in love. They were simply infatuated with one another. I personally do not understand why most people say that they were in love. Think about it: Shakespeare was married at a fairly young age, and look how his relationship with Anne Hathaway turned out. He could very well have been mocking young "love." He could have been trying to say that if two very young people think they are in love, it is very unlikely that they actually are. Romeo and Juliet would never have lasted. It all happened way too fast, and all they wanted (excuse me) was some action. That's all they ever did anyway: mack and stuff. The fact that they killed themselves was not for the sake of love, it was depressed, attention-starved, drama queen teenagers being depressed, attention-starved teenagers.
Romeo was absolutely, thoroughly, unreservedly in love with Rosaline before he saw Juliet. Teenage boys never change. All they care about at this age is looks. Romeo is simply shallow, and Juliet a (once again, pardon) ho (or to put it in Shakespearean terms: harlot). They kiss the first time they meet, without hardly talking. Once again, just regular-ish teens who don't know what they want in life. All they care about is the short-term satisfaction, not thinking about the long run. Romeo and Juliet were not in love, and their relationship would have died as quickly as they did.

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