Sunday, 19 August 2012

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Rating: 2 stars

I'm sure most people is familiar with the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Maybe you have even studied in school just like I had to do.

To be frank, I'm no fan of Romeo and Juliet. I very much disliked the story. To me, it did not seem like a romantic, endearing and worthy love story, it was more of what Delirium had initially put it "a cautionary tale". After unpicking all the details from studying it in class, I disliked the story even more. It felt shallow, unworthy, stupid and boring. I have nothing against Shakespeare. In fact, his writing in this play was just as brilliant as any other. I also really like some of Shakespeare's sonnets. His writing in this play clearly brought out its themes, characters and messages/symbolisms etc. and in a short passage, contained a great deal of wisdom. I liked that, I just didn't like the story/plot. As a book, it felt like a waste of paper; as a play, a waste of breath.

It felt like such a pain, sitting through English everyday studying this. In class was the only time I actually read the play.

The first thing I didn't like was the so-called "love" between Romeo and Juliet. I'm not really a believer of true love at first sight. I mean, honestly, how can you truly love someone whom you've never met and didn't even know? So we are pretty much back to seeing what you like, meaning "love" the other person by how good they look. Honestly, that's a bit old. This whole played happened in a span of 5 days. And Romeo and Juliet's relationship only had about 3 days. How can you fall in love and get married (in secret) in 2 days as well as managing to kill someone and get banished within 3 days? There was no way this could have fell through. Whoa there, maybe marriage in 2 days was often during Shakespearian time, but not really now. So I don't support that. The characters were absolutely stupid to do such a rash thing in so much haste. 

I didn't like Romeo. He was rather immature and ever-changing. He was like a little boy who thought he had grown up. His personality changed all the time. One second he was nice and loving, the next he was angry and blood-thirsty, or the next he could be down on his knees crying. He loved Rosaline (another girl) at the beginning of the play, but as soon as he saw Juliet he fell in love with her. Seriously?! His speeches during the play was also very contradicting. He was unthoughtful -- didn't think things through and let his emotions got the better of him. 

Juliet was a nicer character. But I felt that she was too Naive and afraid. I couldn't connect with her as a character at all. A lot that was between her and Romeo also felt too cheesy for my liking. 

However, Shakespeare's writing of the play was as good as it was going to get. Weaving through the story, he showed the important themes of Haste, Love (several different kinds of love), Hate, Obedience, Time and Fate. He used the characters very well (sometimes steroetypes) to protray these themes as well as the characters' social status. He also used symbols and well-constructed speeches to highlight certain parts of the story. He chose all his words carefully. His light relief balanced out the cold and heavy parts, but still gave an air of a tragedy. 

But still, because I didn't like the story, if I wasn't forced to read it for English, I may never have finished reading it. If you liked Romeo and Juliet, go right ahead and ignore my review, as it is just my opinions on it. If my review hasn't put you off and you are a fan of Shakespearian language, Romeo and Juliet is a good example of Shakespeare's plays.


Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young "star-cross'd lovers" whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet and Macbeth, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

1 comment:

  1. to each his own, right? i can appreciate Shakespeare's writing ... don't love it but really don't hate it either. ( :