Love at first sight: an idea that many wish for, however it can lead to or have unforeseen consequences, like those presented in Rome and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a play written by William Shakespeare telling the story of two children who have fallen in love. The story, surprisingly, ends in a tragedy with Romeo, Juliet, and many of their family members dead because of their misguided love. The love in Romeo and Juliet is not genuine due to multiple factors such as their age, parental influence, external factors, and undeveloped brains, all leading it the inevitable deaths of the two-young people.
The age difference between Romeo and Juliet is the first indicator of their false love. In act 1 scene 5 of the play, Romeo and Juliet have their first encounter with Romeo saying: “If profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with tender kiss” The two continue the conversation after his pickup line and end it with a kiss (Shakespeare). Juliet is thirteen during the events of the play. This is one of the main reasons she is so easily swayed by Romeo’s words, her brain isn’t developed enough to make rational decisions like if it’s right to talk and kiss a stranger she just met moments ago. This claim is supported by the article, “Developing brain connections make teenagers impatient and impulsive” (Hanna Osborne.)
By using the amygdala, she went with the gut feeling that Romeo had influenced with the smooth talk and kiss. This part of the brain only deals in gut feelings or instincts, not logic. Not thinking logically played in Romeo’s favor, allowing him to manipulate Juliet into doing what he wanted, with the probable outcome of seducing her. Another article, “Too Soon Marr’d: Juliet’s Age as Symbol in ‘Romeo and Juliet”’ tells of how the age of consent was 14 at this time (Franson). The consent age being 14 changes the perspective of the play, making Romeo more of a villain who is just playing Juliet using her as a means to an end and Juliet as a victim who was being rebellious and not thinking locally. Also, during this time-period early teenage marriage was less common than thought. These few cases were either not formally done or not completed with vows until later (Franson). Not only was age an indicator of how their love wasn’t real, but also their love at first sight concept. While their age is a factor that holds much weight, things such as their parents greatly affect the outcome the play had.
“Behaviors are a product of either inherited or acquired characteristics,” a quote that holds very true to the motives behind Romeo and Juliet’s actions. Both of their parents played roles in their choices. For instance, Juliet’s mom says in scene three of act one, “Here in Varona, ladies of esteem Are already made mothers. By my count, I was your mother much upon these years That you are still a maid”(Shakespear). Marriage was a huge requirement for a woman of this time, putting pressure on young Juliet from her mom to find a man making her quicker to succumb to Rome’s influence and rush into a “love” from someone who could fulfill what she wished for. The next example is of Romeo’s parents being more affectionate around and toward him than Juliet’s parents, causing him to be seen as soft or woman-ish(Shakespar). This view on Romeo is what leads to him eventually going to the Capulet party in the mindset to fine someone to distract, in a sense, him. Thus, he finds a beautiful young lady who could fit that need. Along with external forces that effected their meeting, their parents forced them into a position that led to them being together.
Many people and events played a role in Romeo and Juliet’s “love”. The first example in Romeo and Juliet when Mercutio pushed Romeo to attend the Capulets ball, leading to the encounter with Juliet. “If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for prickling, and you beat love down”(Shakespear) Romeo who is content on not going to this event is pushed into doing so because Mercutio forced his friend into this party to find a partner that will help him forget about Rosaline. Another example is in act 3 scene 1 where Tybalt was killed. This event lead to two key events, the play hinting toward Lady Capulet was having an affair with Tybalt and Juliet’s forced marriage with Paris. Both are great examples of how unreal the love is in Rome and Juliet is fabricated. To start off Lady Capulet was the wife of Lord Capulet, meaning during the death scene with Tybalt when she morns for him calling him her lover implies that she was having an affair, which proves she either lost love for Lord Capulet or she never loved him. Then there is the arranged marriage between Juliet and Paris. The scene where Paris talk to Lord Capulet about marrying Juliet after Tybalt’s death reveal Lord Capulets true reasoning to marry them two. He planned to marry Juliet off to further enhance himself, not caring how his daughter felt or if she even loved Paris. Others can not only be to blame for the events of the play. Romeo and Juliet are mentally to be blamed as well.
The human brain does not fully develop until the age of 21. A fact that plays a vital role in the events of play. In “Nature vs Nurture” an atrial that goes into detail about the effects of these two is says, “Classic conditioning occurs when a natural reflex responds to a stimulus. We are biologically ‘wired’ so that a certain stimulus will produce a specific response”(Ftued) In reference to Romeo and Juliet, this quote explains why and how Romeo is able to completely forget about Rosaline when he sees Juliet. He went into the party trying to find someone to take his mind off her, the certain stimulus in this case, and his body naturally reacts to the prettiest girl at the ball. Romeo not being young, does not really know how to control anything from emotions to his natural instinct when he sees a pretty girl. Instead of actually getting to know her. He lungs straight to he’s primal needs. Another example is in another article by Sarah Spinks that shows that kids do not fully understand emotions and how to express or read them. So, when Romeo and Juliet get these feelings for each other that they can’t explain they just assume its love, pushing them to make rash and unreasonable decisions. While all evidence supports and proves that their love wasn’t real, some disagree.
Their feelings for each other could be argued as love from a certain standpoint. Most will point out that Juliet continues to fill this way even after Romeo kills her own cousin, however the idea of sleeping with Romeo was on her mind, clouding her judgment and being the first and most prominent thing she is thinking of before the wedding.
There was no love presented in Romeo and Juliet. Their upbringing and multiple other factors were the cause of a two hour long tragidy that effectively killed many and solved their families fuied.