Monday, April 14, 2014

Reviewing Romeo

It's rare that a literary analysis assignment can blend humor as successfully as the essay below, but in this argument piece, Julie P., a ninth grader, claims that there is a darker side to the so-called "greatest love story every told," and we think that you'll agree that it is every bit as entertaining as it is informative.

A Tragic Hero . . . But Also A Stalker

As I look into out into the black, black night, the only thing I can see is the ever-changing moon above. The night is warm and I like the thought of being alone after the party. Suddenly, I hear a voice in the night and I leap back. How dare this man intrude my home!  I am about to call the guards when I see who it is in the pale moonlight. Romeo. How strange that he found this place. I only met him hours ago.

            Throughout Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is portrayed as a lovesick romantic who would do anything for Juliet. However, no one realizes how creepy Romeo’s actions are. Whether he’s becoming obsessed with every beautiful girl he sees or stalking Juliet outside her room, Romeo needs to take a chill and get a good night’s sleep. Romeo is an old-fashioned stalker.

            Although Juliet seems to return Romeo’s dramatic love poems, Rosaline did not, most likely because he scared her into chastity. We can tell this when Romeo says, “Well in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit/ With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit” (1.1.216-217). Rosaline does not seem interested whatsoever in Romeo, but don’t worry, he won’t be heartbroken for long. Romeo moves on to Juliet as soon as he sees her.

            The balcony scene is an extreme example of Romeo’s utter eeriness. He somehow, unknown to readers, climbs the stone wall outside of Juliet’s room. When Juliet asks him, “How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore/ the orchard walls are high and hard to climb” (2.2.67-8). Romeo’s answer is very vague; “With love’s light wings did I o’er perch these walls” (2.2.71). No one exactly knows how he arrived under Juliet’s balcony, but people disregard this fact and only focus on the romantic gesture that Romeo would climb the wall for her.

            Walking into the mall, I spot a couple of girls who look about thirteen; I follow them around and eventually end up going up to the prettiest one and talking to her. She seems extremely scared and shocked that I’m talking to her. What am I doing wrong…?

The fact that Romeo is about seventeen while Juliet is thirteen adds to the creepy effect. Translating this into the modern scene above makes it clear just how disturbing this is. We can tell that Juliet is too young when her father, Capulet, says, “My child is yet a stranger in the world/ she hath not seen the change of fourteen years” (1.2.7-8). Although there isn’t an extreme gap between their ages, Romeo eventually makes the decision to kill himself over a thirteen year old.

            Romeo shows Juliet how much he loves her in his actions: leaping the stone wall, kissing her passionately, etc. However, he also makes sure she knows she’s the only girl he wants, using his words, poems and speeches of love. For example, Romeo says, “O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied” (2.2.132). Romeo uses sketchy words such as “unsatisfied” which leave the audience (and Juliet) a little nervous. Romeo sees what he wants and he will do whatever it take to get it. Even though being creepy isn’t extremely awful, if Romeo wasn’t such a stalker, they both would have lived, maybe even happily ever after.

            As Romeo soon found out, “These violent delights have violent ends” (2.6.8). Romeo was an old-fashioned stalker, which greatly pleased him. However his fantasizing, dreaming, and creeping all came to naught, and he killed himself over a thirteen year old girl who he couldn’t be with. This is the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet.
By Julie P., Grade 9