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Does Shakespeare present the suicidal tendencies in Romeo and Juliet as a part of young love, or as a separate issue? Provide examples.

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Overall, Shakespeare doesn't think that there is an inherently self-destructive tendency inextricably connected with love. While he acknowledges that there can be a dark side to love, in other plays we see healthy love relationships without a self-destructive edge: Portia and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, for one example. As for Romeo and Juliet itself, the play would lose much of its edge if it were merely arguing that young love is inherently self-destructive. The greater and more compelling issue is that larger social forces—in this case, the Capulet-Montague feud—create a destructive frame around the young lovers. If the lovers were going to destroy themselves anyway, the play would lose the force of critiquing the feud.

That said, there is an impulsivity and need to "have everything now" in the characters of Romeo and Juliet typical of adolescence that adds even more fuel to the fire, so to speak. The larger social forces make the love affair extremely difficult. Romeo and Juliet's tendency to act without thinking clearly then helps to turn a difficult situation tragic. The friar advises Romeo to cool down his ardor for his own good. Clearly, too, the self-destructive tendencies of the young lovers are shown in how quickly they commit suicide. Part of Shakespeare's point is that the older generation has a responsibility to act like adults precisely to protect the young people, who are not yet able to.

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It sounds like you need help writing an essay, there are lots of good resources on this site, in the Romeo and Juliet area, to help.

As a more simple answer to your question, Shakespeare shows that young love is an 'all or nothing' proposition. When Romeo is told by the Friar that his punishment will be banishment, and not death, Romeo replies that there is no world for him outside Verona.

There is also a measure of idealism in their love. Juliet and Romeo refuse to bend to the reality of their family situation, believing that love will conquer all.

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How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love?

The young lovers' "all-or-nothing" impetuous behavior is consistent with the suicidal impulses of Romeo and Juliet. Impulsive is appropriate to much of the action in "Romeo and Juliet." For instance, Romeo sees Juliet and immediately ends his melancholic sighs over Rosalind. Then, he impulsively races to Friar Laurence to ask to be married Juliet, whom he has only know for hours. After he unwisely comes between Mercutio and Tybalt causing Mercutio's death, Romeo madly stabs Tybalt. Again, he rushes to Friar Laurence, flings himself down, crying and pulling out a dagger to kill himself until the priest reasons with him. Finally, when he mistakes Juliet for dead, he does not leave the tomb to consult with anyone before killing himself.

In the same manner, Juliet runs back and forth impulsively and indecisively in the balcony scene. When her parents insist that she marry the prince, Paris, Juliet says that she will seek the counsel of the Friar, and if "all else fail, myself have power to die." Like Romeo, Juliet sees only one choice to take if she does not have things the way she wants. Later when the Friar has a vial of a liquid which should make her appear dead, and Juliet is worried about the drug actually killing her, she still drinks it and places a dagger beside her in case all else fails.

R and J are as fickle as the Fortune that seems to dictate their destinies.

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How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love?

This is an interesting question. I am not sure it's necessary to assume that Romeo and Juliet have suicidal impulses. Rather, their youthful passion takes them to great heights which they sense cannot be maintained. The intensity of new love, especially young love experienced for the first time, is all-consuming, yet it cannot last forever. With time, romance matures into something deeper and richer, yet undeniably less rapturous.

The characters of Romeo and Juliet are short-sighted, as are all young people, about the future. Nothing matters to them but their present passion, which they know is ephemeral. Rather than "settle" for the pleasures of mature love, they choose death.

A similar theme is expressed in the Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay":

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love?

The phrase "young love" when uttered by those who are.. not so young... is often said with an air of dismissal, as if those feelings in a young person are not true feelings and should not be taken seriously.  However, the fates of Romeo and Juliet serve as an important lesson for our time. 

When we are young and in love, as were they, there are physical and psychological changes which occur in our minds and bodies that we cannot alter.  Perhaps this is the "fate" about which the prologue spoke -unalterable, unchangeable fate.  We now know that hormones, pheromones, and endorphins sweep through our systems at the instant of attraction.  Couple these with the normal surges of growth and change already plaguing the young, and we have a recipe for disaster-or for love.

Young love is inexperienced.  It understands nothing of waiting for time to pass, but is urgent in its quest to pull two people together and have them prove to themselves and each other love's sincerity.  That feeling can easily overtake the young and make them feel that not only is this love urgent, it is important.  This importance and urgency can overwhelm young people and lead them to see no alternative but to rebel, ultimately, against the forces which separate them, while bringing themselves together, eternally, with one another through death.

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How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love?

The opening monologue of the play, spoken by an observer who may also be a citizen of Verona, describes Romeo and Juliet as "star-cross'd lovers"--this refers to the notion of fate or pre-ordained outcomes. The "stars" are also a reference to astrology which was a very widespread art and science in the Elizabethan era. If the astrological charts of the two lovers were not compatible, as the notion of being "cross'd" suggests, there was very little they could do to change their futures. But this notion of fate is also supported by the fact that Romeo and Juliet meet by chance and fall in love at first sight.

Their attraction is strong, but they aren't allowed to be together because of the family feud between the Montagues and Capulets. Their forbidden love ends an air of urgency and difficulty to their time together. When Tybalt killls Mercutio, and Romeo kills Tybalt, Romeo's banishment makes it even more impossible for the lovers to be together. The air of desperation brought on by these events, as well as the swift and violent deaths of two prominent characters, makes it plausible that Romeo and Juliet will do literally anything to be together, or die trying. Love becomes a matter of life and death, and the injustice felt by the overs at being kept apart convinces them that extreme measures are appropriate.

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