So, I posted a ranty mcrant about Romeo and Juliet as a response to someone on tumblr, and I thought, what the hell, it's already written, I'll put it on LJ as well.
The context was someone saying R&J is TOTES not a love story, and pulling the old, and I quote, "they knew each other for three days and killed themselves over it youre done".
Now, I feel strangely protective of this story. No idea why, I'm not much into romance stories, and it's not a type of romance - or a type of characters - that I like, but I've always felt there's something important about it, aside from Shakespeare's obvious writing prowess. And as much as I frown at the "aww suicide, how romantic" train of thought, some people's knee-jerk reaction against it rubs me the wrong way, and the oversimplification of a rather complex story makes my inner literary critic offended. OFFENDED, I SAY.
So, without further ado:
( also, they didn’t just randomly kill themselvesCollapse )
-warning: long essay and discussion of suicide ahead-
HOWEVER, there’s another big misconception regarding "Romeo and Juliet" that I think often causes the aforementioned knee-jerk reaction against the story.
OK. rant over. Do you agree/disagree/a bit of both?
Them dying was not a happy ending. It wan’t sweet or romantic. The whole point of the play was that it sucks that they had to die. Their families’ feud had been screwing over Verona for a long time, but the family heads (as rich, powerful people often do) didn’t give a fuck until it cost them their children. That’s why they get scolded by the Prince at the end - they shouldn't have created a situation where their own children though death was the only way out!
Theirs should have been a romantic comedy, all wacky hijinks and misunderstandings until they got to "happily ever after".
But thanks to their families' selfishness, it turned out a tragedy.