Romeo and JulietSo first of all i went the thesis of romeo being selfish but now i have another thesis to follow up on its: The adults in this play were more considerate on fighting with eachother...

Romeo and Juliet

So first of all i went the thesis of romeo being selfish but now i have another thesis to follow up on its: The adults in this play were more considerate on fighting with eachother than worrying about who juliet really loves and how immature they were in the play??\

Whats your say on this disscuion??

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think perhaps what you mean to say is that the adults are more concerned about continuing their feud than about the feelings of their children. In one sense you're correct, but it another sense I wonder if this is altogether true. When the Prince finally lays down the law and sets the penalty of death on the next one who begins brawling in the streets, both fathers quit fighting. Romeo's dad is concerned about Romeo's behavior at the beginning of the play when he spends all his time moping and sighing in darkness; and initially Juliet's dad told Paris he would not approve of anyone as a husband to Juliet unless she loved the man. Even when he changes his mind--and gets quite ugly about it after Juliet refuses--Capulet accepts Paris's offer because he thinks it will help Juliet get over her grief. The Friar is the one character who puts the feud above anything else--even common sense--though at least he is trying to end it. The Nurse gives her bad counsel without regard to the feud.

I like the idea presented above--that every adult is only acting in his or her own best interest, without regard to the feelings of the young people. Another idea has to do with communication. No one in the play ever talks to each other about anything that matters (with the exception, I think, of Capulet early on). If ANYone had talked about the two young people in love, things might have been different. Romeo, Juliet, the Nurse, and the Friar are all silent, and that silence causes five deaths.

I love that you are willing to reconsider a thesis if you're struggling for the proper arguments and evidence. How about another idea: Romeo and Juliet died because they got bad counsel from the only two adults in whom they confided their love. Something to think about. You'll get there!

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
It is true in the play that the adults are more concerned with their petty fighting than their children's feelings. However, this is the attitude of the time period. I'm not saying you shouldn't write about it, but you may want to approach it as a part of this period in history rather than a social oddity. Daughters were married off to the betterment of the family's social or monetary status. Sons were expected to take a wife that could improve their family as well. Feelings were considered of little importance in upper class marriages. Evidence of this attitude is clear throughout the play. The most striking example can be found in the argument between Juliet and her father after her mother tells her she will marry Paris. Juliet tries to explain to her father that she cannot marry Paris. Her father sees her behavior as shameful and disobedient. He will even go so far as to disown her is she does not agree with his wishes.
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think that tragedy is caused only by adults acting selfishly.  First of all, is it necessarily selfish to want your daughter to marry someone that you think is good for her?  This is particularly true because it's not as if the Capulets know Juliet wants to marry Romeo.

I think that the bigger problem is the lack of communication mentioned in Post 3.  Friar Laurence and the nurse aren't acting selfishly.  They're just not really thinking very well and they're not communicating much with anyone.  If, for example, the nurse or Juliet had told Romeo of their plan, wouldn't that have been better?

So I think it would be easier to make the case that the real problem here is a lack of communication, not selfishness.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, I would agree with you both that Romeo is selfish and the adults are selfish.  I think you are on your way to a thesis here.  Why don't you argue that the tragedy in this story is caused by people acting in their own self-interest?