“Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love'”?

To answer this question, I might have to try and answer the age old question: what is love? Now the dictionary definition is, “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for parent, child, or friend” (Dictionary.com). However, I think that love shouldn’t just be defined as a feeling but also an act of doing. It is one thing to tell someone you love them, but a completely different thing to tell someone you love them and actually follow through with actions by caring for them and putting their happiness over your own. I think that at first Romeo and Juliet’s feelings towards each other do start out as puppy love. An example of this is when Juliet is uncertain about Romeo’s devotion to her by saying, “Dost though love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay,’ And I will take thy word; yet, if thou swear’st, Thou mayst prove false” (2.2 90-93). This line is Juliet asking Romeo if he loves her. She knows that he will say yes, and she would believe him and trust him, but, if he swears that he does love him, he might be lying. This shows that because of Juliet’s uncertainty, thinking that Romeo may just be lying, she doesn’t have a lot of trust in Romeo. I think that an aspect of a good relationship is trusting one another, people who are in love do show trust in one another because they take time to build a strong base connection. Since Romeo and Juliet only met just days ago during the Capulet dance, there hasn’t been a foundation of trust formed. Another reason for why Romeo and Juliet’s connection is puppy love is because they experience this somewhat love at first sight experience. Although Juliet is still hesitant to marry Romeo shown to him by saying, “I have no joy of this contract to-night. I is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, too like lighting, which doth cease to be ere one can say ‘it lightens'” readers can see that her thoughts about marriage do change after meeting Romeo (2.2 117-120). However, I don’t think that true love at first sight can be possible, but attraction or “puppy love” at first sight is. If Romeo and Juliet were truly in love, I don’t think physical attributes would matter as much as how much they care for each other and become dependent on each other. However, this puppy love may develop into real love as this story progresses.

To wat extent is Kulich’s gument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate?

Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children should be viewed as historically inaccurate. Shakespeare’s inspiration for this play was a poem called The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, in this story, “Juliet is a young girl of 16, while Romeo is somewhat older” (The Generation Gap). However, in Shakespeare’s version of this, Capulet states that, “My child is yet a stranger in the world; She hath not seen the change of fourteen years” from this, it is evident that Juliet is only 13 years old, and that Capulet, her father, sees her as his child, too young to be wed yet. This isn’t just a parent being overprotective of their child either, in 1566-1619, the average marriage age was 27 (The Age of Marriage). The age of marriage also states that, “for most children, puberty came two or three years later than it does today”. For most girls, puberty starts anywhere between 10 and 14 (MedicineNet). This means that Juliet might not have even started puberty yet. The age of puberty for boys is even later meaning Romeo most likely hadn’t started puberty yet either. As well as this, both Romeo and Juliet still live which means that neither of their parents see reason for an arranged marriage, wanting to keep them as a child for longer. Therefore, Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children should be thought of as historically inaccurate.

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