Since we first read “Romeo and Juliet” we have learned it to be a tragedy. If we really look deep into the story, is it not a story of love? “Romeo and Juliet” can be seen as a tragic love story: Does love at first sight exist?
The problems that arise in the play are what make the play a tragedy. In romantic comedies, problems happen all the time as the characters fall in love, but the movies are still categorized as romance.
What is the difference? I believe it is the way we view love. “Romeo and Juliet” has paved the way for modern romance films in which the main characters fall in love at first sight. I believe “Romeo and Juliet” is a love story with a sad ending just like “The Notebook,” in which the protagonists loved each other until their deaths. Why are they categorized differently? Just because the time frame is very different, does that mean Noah loved Allie more than Romeo loved Juliet? True love has no time frame. We do not choose when, where or who we fall in love with — we just fall and hope that the other person holds on as we fall.
We expect our own love stories to end as the romance movies do, but true love doesn’t come as we expect. In reality, we can have true love, but it may not end happily. This is not to say that true love always ends in death, just that not every moment will be sunshine and rainbows. We call “Romeo and Juliet” a tragedy, because that is not how we want love to go. No one wants to struggle for love. Although they only knew each other for 72 hours, true love drove them together. But is 72 hours enough? Does love have to take years to form?
I think it depends on the heart: It can take less than a second to realize you have met the love of your life. In that moment, time stops, the sun stops setting and you are the only two people in the world. Loving someone is not just the ability to know everything about them, but also the need to make the other happy above your own happiness.
Romeo and Juliet knew very little about each other, but it was their happiness that mattered the most to them. As they lay dead together, it was very tragic, but they couldn’t live without each other. Modern romances may have a happier ending, but Romeo and Juliet really showed the struggle of keeping love alive, to the point they died for love. No one sees it at first, but we all have our Romeo or our Juliet, someone we do not want to live without. As philosopher Alan Watts said, “Love is an act of surrender to another person. Total abandonment.” We give ourselves to the people we feel we can trust most with that heart. Some people are careful to trust, but then there are others that dive right, knowing it is right. People say love is blind, but I say true love is 20/20 vision. Only in true love is your mind synced with your heart as it grows.
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Dylan Bottillo-Hesselton is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org