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Saturday, February 13, 2010
Reconsidering the benchmark
The world's most romantic couple....hmmm. There are a lot of choices here. Of course, my mind jumps straight to fiction, and my favorite character couples. Ron and Hermione, Katniss and Peeta, Alec and Magnus, Peter Parker and MJ, Tony and Ziva (okay, they're not a couple yet, but I'm hopeful), Booth and Bones, Han and Leia....
But to the world, the universal romantic couple seems to be Romeo and Juliet. How many times have we heard references to those Shakespeare characters? Well, after actually reading the play, I have to disagree, world.
This is my synopsis of Romeo and Juliet: Day 1--Romeo meets Juliet. They kiss. Later they decide to get married. Day 2--Romeo and Juliet are married in secret. Then Romeo is banished from Verona. Day 3--They both commit suicide.
Of course, there's a lot more to the story. Like the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, and Tybalt and Paris, and the nurse (my personal favorite character). But the romantic parts really aren't all that romantic. For example, the famous "balcony scene" where Romeo appears under Juliet's window and confesses his love for her? It goes something like this:
Romeo: I'll be whoever you want me to be! I love you! Juliet: OMG! Who are you and what are you doing listening to me talk to myself? Romeo: I don't want to tell you my name. I love you! Juliet: Hey, aren't you Romeo? Romeo: Yeah, but I love you! Juliet: Why are you creeping on me? Romeo: Because I love you! Juliet: Oh. Okay. I love you too!
As you can tell, I didn't interperet that to be very romantic. I found Romeo to be a bit of a needy creeper, to be honest, and Juliet was a naieve airhead. Also, both of them were very self-absorbed. And I think that that's something Shakespeare intended in this play.
I actually enjoyed the story as a whole, I just don't think that Romeo and Juliet are a very good benchmark couple when judging romanticism.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Kieryn www.kierynnicolas.com www.kierynnicolas.blogspot.com My YA novel, RAIN, is now available as an eBook!