Why Is Romeo And Juliet So Famous

Why is Romeo and Juliet so famous?

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is considered the consummate love story.  Some say that every love story written since owes at least a little something to this story of Juliet and her Romeo.

There are probably a hundred reasons why the play is so famous.  I'll present an idea or two.

Any love story needs an obstacle, something that keeps the lovers apart, at least temporarily.  Shakespeare's version of an obstacle--the feud between the Montagues and Capulets--has been imitated so often it is now cliche.  Yet, the formula still continues to work.  As the two lovers fight against their families, the audience's sympathies deepen.  The tougher the obstacles, the better the love story.

One aspect I've always found interesting about the play's popularity is that it is a love story with an unhappy ending.  How rare is that!  Of course, the play is a tragedy and contains much more than just the love story.  And maybe it's the mix of romance and tragedy that makes the play so popular.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems to me that one of the reasons why the drama is so famous is because of its simplicity and direct characterizations.  I have always felt that it is the most direct of Shakespeare's dramas.  Part of this might be that the cultural reference to the play is quite common.  The notion of two people in love that are divided by social stratas is relatively familiar.  Of Shakespearean characterizations, the protagonists are fairly straight forward.  We see both of them as in love with one another, or at least infatuated with one another, and can understand both of them as striving to exceed the social barriers around them.  The fact that love is a central theme of the drama and that it survives even when the lovers do not is another reason why the play is so very famous.  Finally, in schools, my experience has been that "Romeo and Juliet" is a starting point with first year high school students in their study of Shakespeare, another reason why it is so famous.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo and Juliet stretches across all generations and cultures in terms of theme. 

The dueling families, the teenage quest to interpret the difference between infatuation and love, the role of a family friend or mentor and how to deal with the blows that life deal you are themes of the human condition. People may deal with these issues at different times in their lives, but almost all people deal with at least one of these issues if not all. Think of how often you hear about someone referring to their in-laws negatively!

Today, even though English teachers think Shakespeare's language is cool, students struggle with it. But the themes, and the struggles of the human condition, students can relate to that. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say this play is so famous because of the power of the story.  It is a very sad story because of the fate that befalls the two lovers.

I would also say it is famous because of the beautiful poetry and imagery used by the characters.  The words they speak to one another have become famous for this.  For example, the imagery that Romeo uses of Juliet as the sun and the moon being jealous of her beauty is very powerful.

Finally, I would say that it offers some important (and memorably worded) insights into what is important in life.  An example of this is Juliet's speech about Romeo and his name and "a rose by any other name..."


besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For starters, Romeo and Juliet is very famous because it was written by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is actually an adaptation of a poem previously written by another author. Shakespeare used concepts from the poem and wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare was a brilliant author who used beautiful imagery and words that captivate the heart. The play also references Pyramus and Thisbe which was written by a Roman poet. There are many similarities here as well.

Romeo and Juliet has been and will continue to be one of the most famous plays ever written.

imnotmagic | Student

Romeo and Juliet is written to perfection! Not only was it written by William Shakespeare, the plot of the story was amazing. It tells how much a couple would go for each other even though their parents were against it. The main twist of the story has the be the ending. If you never heard of the story you probably think this would be an ordinary fairy tale. Unfortunately, this is different, the ending is as tragic as it could be. Personally, I would believe the ending gave the story more popularity since it attracts some people seeking for different types of endings or surprises.

crystaltu001 | Student

Romeo and Juliet is famous for the ending . They both killed themselves because they were in love with each other and would do anything to be with each other. They both came from feuding families and if their families knew they loved each other they would forbid them to ever see each other. Knowing that the other one had died, they would kill themselves because they love that person that much.

jess1999 | Student

Romeo and Juliet is famous for its tragic ending . Two lovers who seriously just wants to be together , but knows that their parents won't approve tries to be together . Towards the end , knowing that their spouse has died , being unable to bear with the idea , commits suicide .

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Romeo and Juliet

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