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  1. #11
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    I'm honestly not a huge Shakespeare person. As someone who majored in lit, I kind of thought "oh god, not another one" when I encountered a student or professor who was a self-proclaimed Shakespeare buff.

    I also think that Jane Austen is overblown in a similar manner. It can get on my nerves, but it's just my personal thing. The way some people talk about Jane Austen you'd think they didn't know other books existed from that time period.

    Anyway, when it comes to Shakespeare I prefer his sonnets, and I guess Hamlet is probably his best play, IMO. I don't think people committing suicide for love is romantic, especially when they're only teenagers, but taken in the context of the historical situation, Shakespeare was actually making a very good point...you have to look at the broader historical context and the social commentary he was making rather than the love story, if you want a mature understanding of the play, in order to appreciate why it's timeless.

  2. #12
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I think I like it because it does feel a bit real... Teenagers make really dumb, stupid decisions all the time, in the thought that they are in love. Whether they truly are or not, no one will ever know, but the way they act you can't help but think they are at least in that moment. Of course, as an adult you have to be rational and logical. "Maybe they were crazy in love, but..." It's sort of indulging--you're not really allowed to be tragically stupidly in love in real life because--duh--it leads to stupid, awful scenarios that retard the love itself. But you can sort of indulge in these two teenagers and their stupidity.. at least, that's how I took the play. The death is dramatic, and to me, it symbolizes that there is no way a love like that can last--either death or life itself will erode it away, because it's too extreme and there's no balance.

    I suppose, to me, the messages are clear, and that's what makes it such a great play:
    1. Adults put their thoughts and beliefs over their teenagers, and it can lead to destructive behavior.
    2. The mentors throughout the play were complacent.
    3. There was a raw, passionate romance indulged in the most extreme way.

    All of that being said, I enjoyed watching the movies more than reading it. It's made to be seen in action, so it sort of sucked just reading it. You didn't get the passion.
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  3. #13
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    @Marmie Dearest. *nod of agreement*

    I'm not a R&J scholar by any means. It's a very romantic story. It has a lot to say as to the nature of love, and more to say about the society that was very restrictive on the individual. Joseph Campbell wrote a book, I can't remember the title.. It was primarily about chivalry and French Arthurian romance and how those stories were about individual expression in a highly religious and constraining society. I see a similar sentiment in R&J.

  4. #14
    Intergalactic Badass mujigay's Avatar
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    I found Romeo and Juliet immensely entertaining, actually. I believed that Shakespeare's intent was to show the dangers of two young, stupid people running away with their passions. The hilarious thing was, my freshman English teacher took the whole thing completely seriously. She truly believed that it was romantic. So did the rest of the class, although many laughs were to be had when we watched the film versions, both the 1968 and that modern one with Leonardo Dicaprio or whoever it was.

    So the problem, I suppose, is not the story itself, but the way certain people choose to interpret it. But then, it is hard to like a play where everyone is boneheaded. I remember loathing Julius Caesar for precisely that reason: every single character was insufferable.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mujigay View Post
    I found Romeo and Juliet immensely entertaining, actually. I believed that Shakespeare's intent was to show the dangers of two young, stupid people running away with their passions. The hilarious thing was, my freshman English teacher took the whole thing completely seriously. She truly believed that it was romantic. So did the rest of the class, although many laughs were to be had when we watched the film versions, both the 1968 and that modern one with Leonardo Dicaprio or whoever it was.

    So the problem, I suppose, is not the story itself, but the way certain people choose to interpret it. But then, it is hard to like a play where everyone is boneheaded. I remember loathing Julius Caesar for precisely that reason: every single character was insufferable.
    I think Shakespeare's intent was to show the stupidity of a closed-minded society like Qlip said...that these young people were basically a product of the environment...that the adults around them didn't exactly drive them to it, but like, yeah...kind of. It's a statement about restrictive societies and feuding, not about stupid young people, or the play wouldn't have lasted this many centuries.

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    Oh and P.S. I love stories where every character is insufferable! That's why I like Agatha Christie mysteries and Russian Realism...it's totally human nature, all people are flawed in some way, and the black comedy aspect is to take it to an extreme.

    Still not a fan of Shakespeare, in particular, though.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    It's a statement about restrictive societies and feuding, not about stupid young people, or the play wouldn't have lasted this many centuries.
    That's what I like about R&J too. Really one of the only things, because I hated having to read it.

    The prime message I got was in regards to youth, innocence, passion and the individual's true desires being stamped out by the repressiveness of greater society and all of its stupid formalities. It was "romantic" at least in the sense that R&J chose to die together, holding on to their dreams, instead of to submit to the same boot that crushed everyone else around them.

    On the other side though, yeah, the way they went about it left much to be desired.

  8. #18
    Intergalactic Badass mujigay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    I think Shakespeare's intent was to show the stupidity of a closed-minded society like Qlip said...that these young people were basically a product of the environment...that the adults around them didn't exactly drive them to it, but like, yeah...kind of. It's a statement about restrictive societies and feuding, not about stupid young people, or the play wouldn't have lasted this many centuries.
    Oh I don't disagree that the stupidity of a close-minded society was the overarching theme of the piece. But I think the tendency of hot-headedness and quick judgement was a point that Shakespeare criticized. And I felt obliged to point it out because I'm still irritated that my English teacher never did. I'm insufferable that way.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mujigay View Post
    Oh I don't disagree that the stupidity of a close-minded society was the overarching theme of the piece. But I think the tendency of hot-headedness and quick judgement was a point that Shakespeare criticized. And I felt obliged to point it out because I'm still irritated that my English teacher never did. I'm insufferable that way.
    I understand. I hated one of my English professors in college. Pretty sure she was an INFJ...she would get tears in her eyes and talk about how sensitive she was to other people's suffering, but then she was really inclined to be nit-picky about dumb things like minor grammatical errors and would give beginning of the class quizzes so she could shave points off of your grade if you weren't in class the moment the class begin to adore her lectures in all their glory. She also hated to be contradicted...I was torn between ISFJ and INFJ for her, but really going on about her own sensitivity in class seems more stereotypically NF to me, and also that with one assignment (this was like...a 300's level required boring non-fiction essay writing class) that we "add something new to academia." She kept saying other people's ideas weren't original enough and kept demanding they change it to something *she* had never heard of; I finally settled on writing about the Daily Show and their impact on young voters since she was kind of old and not really savvy with popular culture; the bitch drove me up the wall. I argued with her more than once. She was also one of those self-proclaimed "Shakespeare buffs."

  10. #20
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    Othello was way better.
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