I Hate Romeo......and I'm none too fond of Juliet either.  Can anyone pursuade me that they aren't both a couple of knuckleheads?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is not suprising that Romeo's name conjures the term romantic, which suggests unrealistic and dillusionary.  Yet, while Romeo and Juliet are clearly impetuous and foolish, many enjoy this play in spite of their faults.

Perhaps, there is some deep yearning in the human spirit to discard the pragmatic and be romantic.  Truly, there is an almost ecstacy that one experiences when one is delightfully in love, abandoning all reason.  It is an experience solely of the spirit without compare.  Unfortunately, of course, this experience can have disastrous results.  But, while it lasts it is ever so wonderful!

With its beautiful sonnets and blank verse replete with dazzling metaphor, Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, offers a retreat to this world of spectacular romance and delight. Yes, Romeo and Juliet are foolish, but is it not wonderful to be foolish with them if only for a little while?  Is this joy not one of the pleasures of great literature?

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand,

Oh! that I were a glove upon that hand

That I might touch that cheek! (2.2)


blacksheepunite eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most of my female students hate Romeo because he's a player; most of my male students hate him because he's such a whiner. Many of my colleagues see Juliet as strong.

I think their only redeeming qualities are their utter innocence. All of Romeo's whining over Rosaline's resistance to him make him appear to be unpracticed in love; he doesn't have to confidence of someone who has been with other women. Juliet is also new to the game. Neither of them are prepared for the intensity of their feelings because neither of them has a frame of reference for it. They are in over their heads. They are very much the fools for love, and they are probably more infatuated than "in love" (it has only been a few days, after all--enough time to die for love, but not enough time to really see if it will stand the test of time). Having said all that, their innocence in love is much like the innocence of a child. We cringe and are embarassed for them, because a part of us recalls that first feeling of being infatuated and unprepared for the tumultous emotions that followed.

gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I Hate Romeo...

...and I'm none too fond of Juliet either.  Can anyone pursuade me that they aren't both a couple of knuckleheads?

Before I try to persuade you, let me add to your fire! Romeo is fickle, tossing aside another woman (well, girl) as soon as he sees Juliet. Juliet is willful and disobedient, disobeying direct parental orders. The two are theoretically raised Christian, but they're about to couple on any flat surface. Boo! Hiss!


And yet, and yet, and yet…they are brave. They risk family, lives, reputations. Most people waffle, but they are kids and they commit fiercely. They love, really and truly, and they shine. For that I forgive them all…and you should too.


meowmix eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo does remind me of some of my students when they were in Grade Nine and when I point that out to my tens, the light bulbs begin to shine when it comes to Romeo's actions.

Romeo is your typical young teen; impulsive and not exactly a long term thinker. Friar Laurence tries to keep the boy in check but even the good Friar has his moments with him. As for him being a whiner, it depends on the actor that's playing him.  Leonardo Di Caprio and Joseph Finnes (listen to the Arkangel rendition of the play) has a dark spin to him while Leonard Whiting plays to the more impulsive side.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Knuckleheads--at last someone who sees this for something more than a romance. Does anyone remember that Romeo had just been declaring his undying devotion to Rosaline and bemoaning the fact that she did not reciprocated. This was just prior to "seeing" Juliet and falling in love with her. And oh yes, Juliet didn't want to marry Paris, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with her falling in "love" with Romeo. Both children were willing to throw away good lives for a love that was brand new and destined (if left to nature) to be short lived.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think they are both fairly annoying. But, they are young. Romeo is definitely the more annoying of the two, given how quickly he is able to get over his love and find it anew with Juliet.

Infatuation and youth are a pretty lethal combination, and I agree with the second response, it is all consuming, so you have to cut them some slack. 

alexb2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They're in love and they're teenagers! You'll have to give them a break. Teenagers are pretty annoying, even if you are one yourself you'd have to agree that most of your peers, especially when they have a crush, can be pretty obnoxious. There is a purity in their love for each other, though, which I think cuts through the annoyance factor. 

ashayara | Student

I'm gonna tell you the truth and not pursaue you...I think it's stupid..if true love was gonna end from the very beginning then whats the point of wasting your time on love?..even if it was worthwhile they didn't accept fate and that's why they died. Also they felt more pain than happiness it's not worth ending your life for the one you love instead you should live on so that your dead lover could be proud of you, Romeo and Juliet didn't value their precious lives and instead put it to an end because of the so called love...they were weak,they couldn't move on and face life but instead chose to die because they couldn't bear the pain so then why bother living in the first place if they were lonely? if Romeo and Juliet never met then I can assure you they would of lived better lives to the fullest I'm not saying their love was meaningless I just personally think that in the end true love will only bring you despair and burdens but I guess they failed to realise that and ended up dead for them maybe it was worth it but look at the other people who were affected by their death, Romeo and Juliet were living in their own world where everything revolves around them two but in the end it just hurt more people then they bargained for in other words they didn't even care for their families and friends and just died leaving their pain for others to bear...