Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree hat Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’”? why or why not?
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of two-star cross lovers willing to go to great lengths to be with one another. It sheds light on love and grace and touches many hearts. However, some, such as Ledingham, believe that the affection between the two young teens is mere “puppy love”. And although this tale is a tragedy of love told people around the world, there is still hard evidence to show that the love between Romeo and Juliet is infatuated. At the beginning of the play, we are introduced to Romeo’s love interest at the time, Rosaline. Romeo drones on and on about how she is “rich in beauty” (1.1.212). His love for Rosaline is so strong that “[he] live dead that live to tell it now” (1.1.220-221). Romeo pours buckets of emotions into his words, convincing the audience that Rosaline, although a nun, will forever be the love of his life. As the play carries on Romeo stays persistent to Rosaline until he sees Juliet at the Capulet party where he questions whether “[his] heart love till now” (1.5.52). He makes this judgment solely based off a glance at her across the room. He makes the decision that Rosaline is no longer important to him and that Juliet “teaches the torches to burn bright” off an impulse choice (1.5.44) Moreover Juliet plays a large role in the puppy love as well. Although she starts off as a cautious grounded individual, slowly we start to see parts of Juliet that show she hasn’t had enough life experience to truly understand what love beholds. When Paris requests to marry Juliet through Capulet he states that “is yet a stranger in the world” and hasn’t experienced much outside the Capulet walls (2.1.8). After one night with Romeo, she claims that “[she’ll] no longer be a Capulet” if it means she gets to be by Romeo’s side (2.2.36). She becomes quick to make rash decisions and is willing to throw away her family and name. The two young strong-willed individuals don’t understand the harsh reality and although as the play unfolds opinions could differentiate, as of now it is merely puppy love and fantasy behavior.
To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate?
Although Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet was a realistic tragedy seems true at first after more research one can see that it’s not as up to par as one may think. The first red flag in her article is that she explains the transition between a child to an adult like a jump as if as soon the child is out of school they are considered an adult. An adult is matured and fully developed (Merriam Webster). Through the play, there are multiple instances where Capulet refers to Juliet as his child. Capulet states that “she hath not seen the change of fourteen years” which infers that Juliet is merely thirteen years old going onto fourteen (1.2.8). We usually associated growth with puberty during the teen ages of one’s life and a girl tends to go through puberty between ages 10-14 (Medline). This means that Juliet still isn’t fully developed as a person and as for Romeo, puberty happens even later. As well as, during the Elizabethan era, it was rare for families to only have one child meaning that if the Capulets and the Montagues would be protective of them giving them only the best education (Elizabethan Era). Kulich states that “relatively few privileged children went to secondary school”. The two families both hold high wealth and power which would mean Romeo and Juliet are still in school and learning with debunks Kulich’s statement. Moreover, Kulich draws it to seem that marriage at a young age during this time was common; however, the average age of marriage during the setting of this play is 27 years old, an age neither Romeo or Juliet are anywhere near (The Age of Marriage). The evidence provided shows that Kulich’s theory is not historically accurate.