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Were Romeo and Juliet Truly in Love?

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´╗┐Neil, Kasia Neil ENG-1D1 Ms. Koncurat June 11, 2012 What is true love? Love is a universal language that may be interpreted in several different ways. According to St. Paul, the criteria stated in the bible passage 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 must be followed in order for one to have true love. In William Shakespeare?s classical tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, love is the dominant theme; Romeo and Juliet?s romantic love being the most significant. This story revolves around the fast-paced relationship between Romeo, the young heir of the Montagues and Juliet, the daughter of the Capulets. Because of an ancient feud amongst the two families, Romeo and Juliet are forced to keep their relationship hidden causing their love to end in just a matter of days. St. Paul?s standard of love defines itself to be: patient, truthful and honest. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) ...read more.


If Juliet had been truly in love with Romeo she would have waited for their relationship to progress and not insisted that he professed his love for her. Juliet shows that she must have her own way and does not show patience. In addition, St. Paul states that love ?does not dishonor others?. In this play, Romeo and Juliet are forced to defy their loved ones wishes in order to be together which essentially leads to the dishonor of both family and friends. In the following quote Juliet wants Romeo to deny his family for her love and if he will not so do, she will no longer be a Capulet if he solely swears that he loves her. O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I?ll no longer be a Capulet. (Act II:ii:33-36) Romeo also defies his loved ones when he abandons his friends Mercutio and Benvolio to go see Juliet outside of the Capulet?s orchard. Even though Romeo hears their calls he does not respond. Frustrated and annoyed, Mercutio begins to tease Romeo but Romeo only responds to himself saying, ?He jests at scars that never felt a wound?, meaning that Mercutio?s opinion does not matter because he has never been wounded. ...read more.


Had he been levelheaded and evaluated the situation at hand, he could have talked to Friar Laurence and discovered the truth. Instead he thought solely of himself, and as a result both his and Juliet?s lives ended tragically. Juliet also shows acts of selfishness when she fakes her own death. She is so self-absorbed that she does not think to discuss the matter with her parents and neglects to consider their opinions. She only thinks about how she feels and not of how her family and friends feel. If her parents had disagreed with her decisions to be with Romeo she could have left and lived how she pleased. In conclusion, it is clear that Romeo and Juliet?s relationship did not follow the criteria stated in St. Paul?s description of what true love is. They decided to live for each other?s love but died for it too. Perhaps if they had been more patient, honorable and thoughtful, they could have had a long-lasting relationship. Romeo and Juliet were so concerned about each other that they did not bother to consider the consequences of their actions and the effect it would have on their lives and on the lives of their loved ones. Because their love was selfish, impatient and self-centered, it did not follow the criteria of love and they did not have true love based on the description St. Paul provides in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. ...read more.

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