Readers' Corner

What is Romeo and Juliet’s message to the modern reader?

The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of the world’s most well-known works of literature by one of the world’s most enigmatic, prolific, and talented authors who ever lived – William Shakespeare. This is an immortal story about love, hatred, and death that remains relevant for centuries after the play was first written. Romeo and Juliet message to the modern audience still has its value, even though we seem to have moved away from the old blood feuds, and most of us do not kill themselves for love at the age of like 13. Of course, the tragedy by Shakespeare is a product of its time and contemporary views, but it still has some lessons for the modern audience.

What Is Romeo and Juliet All About?

So, the story takes place in Verona, Italy, somewhere in the late 16th century. Two star-crossed lovers coming from two families divided by the long-lasting blood feud cannot be together because their dads would rather kill their children than let them be with the member of a rival family. This creates serious tensions within the two families and causes deaths on both sides. In the grand finale, Romeo and Juliet both commit suicide because of tragic miscommunication by somebody who did not pass the right message. Some speculate that this was based on the real story; some say that Shakespeare paid homage to the antique tragedies. Whatever the case may be, the Romeo and Juliet true story has most certainly happened somewhere, and maybe not even once.

Romeo and Juliet’s story hasn’t lost its relevance for half a millennium. People still read and study this play; they write Romeo and Juliet research papers, scrutinize every line put on paper by the author, they write essay after essay trying to understand the actions of certain characters, especially Romeo and Juliet. In the times of free love in western society, it is hard to find examples of such tragedies in real life, but there still are communities around the world where people cannot be with who they love just because of their social status, gender, and other distinctive features.

What Makes the Story Timeless?

We have all seen Romeo and Juliet modernized in movies and literature times and times over. Take that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as an example; Romeo is a young gun-toting gangster, and Juliet is an overly-protected daughter of a local crime lord. You can put the two lovers who cannot be together because of a family feud and put them in any context, and the story is going to work. Why is Romeo and Juliet so popular? Well, that is because people love a good love story, especially when it ends tragically. It breaks our hearts to see two beautiful young people who are so perfectly matched to be free and love each other, and then watch them die just because somebody did not pass the right message at the right time.

You have probably been in that situation before, hopefully not to the point where one of you died. You love someone, and they love you back, but you just cannot be together because some insurmountable odds are standing in the way of your happiness or because someone ruined your relationships either from the inside or outside. We can find tons of examples of essays from people coming from the place of love, of love that died prematurely, though having the chance to become something truly beautiful.

Some people are just prone to such tragic love stories. They just cannot live without a good drama in their lives, a Romeo and Juliet effect of sorts. They just want to see hearts be broken, and that is one of the tragic topics in modern society – people just want to be drama characters, even though the drama is coming from a ridiculous source.

Wrap Up

The story will remain relevant for as long as the world is standing and we humans remember what love is. Romeo and Juliet is a story about pure and innocent love between two naïve children (yes, they are like 13 to 14 years old in this story) who were divided by the pointless hatred between their families. And they died because they just could not bear living without one another, and they died foolishly just because the right things were not said at the right time. They can write as many love stories as they want, research as many essays as they want, but Shakespeare’s story will remain the literature’s best for all of the time.

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