Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’”? Why or why not? Why or why not? Provide two pieces of textual evidence.
Based on our reading thus far, I believe that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is not that of two infatuated children. After Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time, Romeo is still lovestruck and wants to see her again. To do this, he climes over the Capulet walls and finds Juliet on her balcony. They exchange words and Romeo offers to swear that he loves her truly. Juliet refuses his offer “Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be / Ere one can say ‘It lightens'” (act 2, scene 2, page 5). From this we can see that Juliet is aware that they had just met; she is saying that him promising something is way too sudden and that he hasn’t thought enough about what he’s about to promise. She knows that what she feels is fast compared to the time that they’ve known each other. From this we can infer that she doesn’t often rush into things. She doesn’t just look at guys and swoons over them any chance she gets. Juliet is aware that this is weird and rationally shouldn’t happen, but her emotions are taking over her consciousness. A task that Juliet sends Romeo to complete is something that demonstrates Romeo and Juliet’s commitment to each other. Instead of allowing Romeo to swear and promise on his word, Juliet sends Romeo out to essentially plan the wedding details and get back to her “[…] Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow / By one / that I’ll procure to come to thee / Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite […] ” (act 2, scene 2, page 6). If Romeo and Juliet weren’t truly devoted to each other and had full intentions to get married, Romeo wouldn’t put as much effort as he does trying to make their wedding happen. If they are really “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love'”, I doubt that they would even be considering marriage in the first place. These characters aren’t to be under-estimated as unintelligent, they were written to display caution and thought behind their dialogue. It’s a story based on miracles and one in a million chances. If they aren’t really in love, it makes the story less whimsical and heart-wrenching, as they die in the end out of ignorance and not devotion.
To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate? Do some brief online research to back up your claim, providing links/citation to your research at the end of your response.
I agree that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children, as they are legally allowed to get married. Even though Shakespeare wrote his version of the play in the 1500’s, Romeo and Juliet is set to take place during the 1300’s. During this time, people aged and died far more quickly, shortening their lives and thus shortening the time period in which they could have children to carry on their bloodline. At the time, the legal age for boys to get married was 14, and girls 12 (with their parent’s consent). In the modern world, little trust is put onto pre-teens and teenagers as they are often seen as too juvenile to handle any pressing task. However, in the 1300’s, boys could enter university at age 14 (girls could not go to university until the 1900’s), which compared to the modern age would technically deem that 14 is considered adulthood. Based on how fast teenagers were expected to mature in the middle ages, I agree that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children, but more realistically as young adults.