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Part of what allows the events in the play to unfold as they do is that the characters of Romeo and Juliet are teenagers, and their experiences as such are a very important part of the play.

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present teenage experience in "Romeo and Juliet"? Shakespeare's play, "Romeo and Juliet", is perhaps the most famous love story ever told, and is in turn one of Shakepeare's most famous plays. The title, "Romeo and Juliet", has become synonymous with the idea of "intense romance" or "tragedy". The story it tells almost epitomizes these two ideas - a tragic tale of love between two people from rival families. Part of what allows the events in the play to unfold as they do is that the characters of Romeo and Juliet are teenagers, and their experiences as such are a very important part of the play. The story is crafted with a degree of melodrama which emphasizes the incredible passion felt for one another by Romeo and Juliet. The play has been inspiring writers, artists, and film makers alike for centuries. Baz Lurhman has almost inadvertantly proved the importance of teenage experience in the play with his screen adaptation. People have been modernizing Shakespeare for years, and in his film the versatility of the story is reinforced - the tale of adolescent love remains just as convincing when set to a contemporary Veronian backdrop. ...read more.

Middle

She is not portrayed so much as someone experiencing stereotypical "teenage angst", at least not during the earlier scenes of the play. This is perhaps because she is so young - not even fourteen, she is of an age that lies between naivity and maturity. Her experiences with being adolescent relate more to elements of social pressure. This is evident in the third act of scene one, where her mother is first approaching the topic of Juliet marrying Paris. "How stands your dispositions to be married?" she pries, met by Juliet stating "it is an honour that I dream not of." While she remains obedient to her parents for the most part, she maintains the capacity to rebel. She continues to be implicit in the discussion of her marriage, "I'll look to like, if looking liking move; / But no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly" by which she means she shall consider Paris if she likes him, but will only marry him if her family approves. Another aspect of Shakespeare's presentation of teenage experience in the play relates to the rolemodels and influences of the characters of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

and continues to enforce the idea that Romeo's idea of love is greatly based upon attraction - "Young men's love then lies / Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes." This is where Friar Lawrence's motives are questionable - while never selfish, he marries the two in the hope of resolving the Montague/Capulet family feud. This could be considered imature of him, and could even be said to majorly influence the disastrous ending to the play. Something which reflects the significance of adolescence in the play is Shakespeare's choice to include greatly unsubtle language. The most notable perpetrators are Mercutio (in Romeo's instance), and the Nurse (in Juliet's instance.) A prime example of bawdy language is seen in act 2, scene 4, where Romeo and Mercutio are engaging in a battle of wits, and Nurse enters. "'T is no less, I tell ye, for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon." Mercutio says to Nurse, the double meaning very obvious. One scene later, during a discussion between Juliet and Nurse about Romeo, she says to Juliet, "Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks," the word "wanton" often being associated with sex. These are amongst the many bawdy jokes made during these few scenes. ...read more.

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