When I first found out I had to read this play for school, I admit I was a little disappointed. I was expecting a little more out of my literature course. Once I picked it up, though, I realized my groans had been in vain. If you look deep in the lines, through the old English and Shakespearean vocabulary, you find an amazing story.
In the book there are several hidden truths, even though Shakespeare probably did not intend to slip them in. For example, as it says in I Timothy: ‘The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.’ We see this truth presented in the feud between the Capulets and Montagues. For what reason do they fight and quarrel? In the play, both the Capulets and Montagues are of equal social status and wealth. They both lust for more power and riches, thus they fight amongst themselves.
There are many other good elements as well, but more overpowering and at the surface are things to be wary of. A very obvious example is the simple fact that Juliet is simply too young to be living the life that she did with Romeo. Romeo and Juliet were merely attracted by each other’s beauty. If they had been married and lived together, they would have found life very difficult to live with each other, for they never truly loved the other person. They loved the beauty. This is evidenced with Romeo’s claims at the beginning of the text that he loves Rosaline. What happens when he sees Juliet? He abandons Rosaline and immediately decides that he no longer loves Rosaline, but instead claims he loves Juliet. Shakespeare makes no attempt to show this as ‘wrong’, so he in essence teaches us that love is about being picture perfect.
Last, but not least, all the problems at the end are resolved without Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate Savior. Neither Capulet nor Montague repent and turn to Jesus, instead they repent and turn to each other for comfort. If you are looking for a simple form of entertainment, I suggest that you read it. Keep a dictionary close at hand, and maybe a Shakespeare-to-English translator. However, be wary of its suggestive themes and touchy subjects.
Published on 9 November, 2010. Last updated on