Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is one of the most well-known and classic plays ever written. Centered around the thrilling love story of Romeo and Juliet, the story has comical, romantic, and adventurous elements. 

The two lovers hail from two enemy families and are not destined to ever meet, let alone fall in love. However, despite their fate and differences, they meet and fall in love at first sight. Immediately after they meet, they make plans to get married and are wedded the next day. Shortly after the wedding, Benvolio and Mercutio encounter Tybalt. Romeo arrives, and Tybalt challenges him. However, Romeo politely declines because he just got married to Tybalt’s cousin, so he did not want to fight with his kin. Instead of fighting Romeo, Tybalt starts a brawl with Mercutio, which results in the death of Mercutio. At the sight of dead Mercutio, Romeo chases Tybalt down in a fit of rage. This results in the death of Tybalt, and Romeo flees the scene. The Prince approaches the scene and orders that Romeo should be banished. The two lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are separated from each other just as quickly as they got together. Romeo leaves for Mantua after spending just one night with Juliet on Monday, while Juliet’s father, who is ignorant of her marriage to Romeo, tells her that she is to marry Paris on Thursday morning. Paris converses with Friar Laurence about his wedding to Juliet the next morning, and Friar Laurence concocts a plan with Juliet to get her out of it. They agree that Juliet will take a drug that will cause her to look deceased so that she could sneak away with Romeo eventually. The plan foils when the news does not reach Romeo in Mantua, and instead, Romeo is told that his bride has passed away. When he reaches her tomb, he consumes a poison concoction, which kills him. Dramatically, Juliet awakes just a moment after his death, and she wakes up to her dead lover. In an act of rashness, Juliet stabs herself with a knife, and the whirlwind romance of Romeo and Juliet dramatically ends after 5 days. 

This story, written by William Shakespeare is very iconic and has been adapted to fit with popular culture and trending times through history. It has been made as several movies, countless stage plays, and numerous book adaptations. The basic plot of the story is captivating to audiences of all ages, and it proves to be a successful and entertaining story to this day. 

-Karis K.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Wait, Romeo and Juliet, that’s the one about love right?  Yes, my friend, that is the one about love, but also it explores so much more.  In the sixteenth century play, two rival clans, the Montagues, and the Capulets has a child, Romeo and Juliet, who fall helplessly in love with each other but are not permitted to be with each other and as a result of this, through an elaborate plan which backfires, ultimately each takes their own lives. 

On a surface level, it is a story about love. But deeper down is the story’s true motifs, rejection of stereotypes.  For example, when Romeo and Juliet come to the conclusion that they are from rival houses, this does not hinder their romance. They put their families’ differences behind them without even a thought. Juliet rebels against her father’s patriarchal control over her by refusing the arranged marriage he attempts to force upon her. Also, she is a renegade in the sense that she was ahead of her time in the ways of intellect. Juliet always thinks things through or has a plan. Her character beats the old fashioned notion of girls being simple creatures that act on a whim and can’t be logical into the ground.  Friar Lawrence breaks the mood by telling Romeo to buy illegal drugs. 

All around in this story, people are rejecting the stereotypes that others represent and rejecting the ones that they represent as well. Today, if we were collectively wise enough as a society to reject stereotypes, think of how much more in unison we would all be. Now, of all times, we should be looking past stereotypes. Over four hundred years ago Shakespeare wrote this revolutionary play about looking past stereotypes and some of us are too ignorant to get it through our skulls. Remember this, a stereotype is merely a figment of one’s imagination. The more you believe it, the more you put it in the forefront of your mind as you go through life, the more prevalent you make it. As the monster you thought was in your closet as a kid, the more you thought about it, the more real it seemed.  The more you see the stereotypes, the more of a monster you become.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “It is in your hands to create a better world for all those who live in it”

Treat others how you would like to be treated.  Don’t be the monster in the closet that you were scared of as a kid. 

-Ainsley H

Romeo and Juliet, and collective works of William Shakespeare, is available for checkout form the Mission Viejo Library