Romeo and Juliet Act II: Critical Response

From our understandings of the reading to this point, we don’t see any sign of either Romeo or Juliet falling out of their love or infatuation. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, puppy love is defined as “romantic love that a young person feels for someone else, which usually disappears as the young person becomes older.” Although we see Romeo and Juliet quickly infatuate each other, we only see their love for each other growing stronger when Juliet says “but my true love is grown to such excess, I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” she is showing a change from her previous more standoffish and poised character into a more excited and exuberant one (2.6.33-34). Another reason why Romeo and Juliet’s love shouldn’t be categorized as merely infatuation is because when Juliet finds out that Romeo is a Montague, she says “my only love sprung from my only hate […] that I must love a loathed enemy,” and is brooding over how to love him instead of trying to cut Romeo (1.5.138,141). When Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet, he says “my life is in my foe’s  debt’ which is Romeo saying that it is a shame that his life is in the enemy’s hands since he cannot stop loving Juliet (1.5.119). Even though both Juliet and Romeo know the danger of their love, the strength of that love allows them both to see past their familial enmity and wish to face the coming tribulations together.

Kulich’s view is quite historically accurate as it correlates to the 14th century European culture. Although the play was written in the 1500s, the scene and story are set in the 1300s. In that time period it was very common for a 17 year-old like Romeo to be considered an adult as well as the 13-year old Juliet. In the 1300s, adulthood for girls usually came at 12 and adulthood for males came at 14. Both Romeo and Juliet are over that transition period and their love should not be considered childish with the historical lens of the 1300s. Therefore, it does seem inaccurate to judge Romeo and Juliet’s love as puppy love since they were both considered adults at the time.

https://www.representingchildhood.pitt.edu/medieval_child.htm

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/puppy-love

https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-time-period-does-romeo-juliet-by-william-57573

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26289459

 

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