Based on our readings so far, I believe that that in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the young lovers share a puppy love relationship. I don’t think that the love between them is genuine since they have only met for a couple of days and they want to get married. To be honest, I think that everyone’s perspective of this question could be different because some people believe in “love at first sight”, while others might not. Personally, I don’t believe in love at first sight. Love cannot be achieved within a matter of seconds of looking at somebody but over time and interaction. It’s possible to have “infatuation at first sight” or “attraction at first sight”, however, I do not believe in love at first sight. Romeo exclaims that “[Juliet] doth teach the torches to burn bright! […] Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear” (1.5.44/47). Not so long after, he questions if he “love[d] till now? Forswear it, sight!” (1.5.52), and we can see that he mentions the word “sight”. Everything up until what we have read so far is based on his love for her beauty. He states his undying love for Juliet and swears by his name that he wants to marry her. However, all he talks about is how beautiful she is and how much she stands out in women.

Looking through a historical lens, I can infer that the main idea of Romeo and Juliet’s love is historically accurate. This is because the norms in the past were that women of high status would be married off to men who’s families are prestigious and wealthy. Additionally, most women don’t have a say at all in their marriage partner. During the Elizabethan era, it was legal for boys to marry at the age of 14, and girls at the age of 12 (see works cited). We can see this concept being perpetuated in the story, although we can also see that Juliet has much more of a say compared to other women in history. Since Juliet does not want to marry her “chosen partner” and Romeo falls in infatuation very quickly, they spring into a love based on appearance. Their love is forbidden, which in truth, makes it more desirable. In the past, people at Juliet and Romeo’s age are already considered adults, as we can see that it is common when people at their age are married. Paris also mentioned that “younger than she are happy mothers made” (1.2.12). This shows that who we would consider young children today were considered adults old enough for marriage in history.

Works Cited:

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-wedding-customs.htm

https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/marriage-and-courtship

http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-marriages-and-weddings.htm