Romeo and Juliet: A Tale

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Instead, he chooses to love Juliet specifically because she is a Capulet, with this based on the anxiety he feels about his own hatred for the Capulets. His love for Juliet fulfils his psychological need to overcome his own hatred.

This explains how Romeo's love is based on his anxiety, but does not explain why Juliet returns his love. A consideration of Juliet's character and her circumstances reveals that she loves Romeo for entirely different reasons. The first important point is that Juliet is very young. This is noted by her father in his conversation with Paris. In this conversation her father says, "But saying o'er what I have said before: / My child is yet a stranger in the world; / She hath not seen the change of fourteen years, / Let two more summers wither in their pride, / Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride" (I, ii 7-11). This statement reveals her actual age as 14 and also shows that she is too young to marry or understand love. The statement that she is "yet a stranger in the world" also shows that she is naive. Despite being too young for love, Juliet is pushed into it, not by Romeo but by her parents. This is seen where Lady Capulet says to Juliet, "Marry, that 'marry' is the very theme / I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet, / How stands your disposition to be married?" (I, iii 66-68). Juliet replies saying "It is an honor that I dream not of" (I, iii 69). It is relevant that Juliet does not reply by suggesting that she is actually against marriage. In fact, her referring to marriage as an honor suggests that she does accept the idea of marriage. However, she sees it as something that is not yet relevant to her. This is also seen in her response where she partially accepts her mothers request that she marry Paris. She responds in what appears to be a mature manner saying, "I'll look to like, if looking liking move: / But no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly" (I, iii 100-103). In this statement, Juliet is saying that she will try to love Paris if her mother thinks it is best. However, while her statement seems quite mature, it also suggests that Juliet is still a child and does not have a real understanding of love or marriage. One critic agrees with this point suggesting that Juliet's age and the circumstances reveals "a painful too-soonness" (Everett 117). On this basis, Juliet is seen as being too young to really understand love or marriage, but not young enough to react to the situation. She accepts her mother's words when her mother says that she is old enough for marriage and her struggle is based on the feeling that she should be old enough to accept a husband. This illustrates that Juliet's state of anxiety is based on her desire to accept love and marriage. In reality, her father is right that she is not mature enough and to naive at her young age. But pushed by her mother and then by Romeo, she struggles with accepting love and marriage.

The final consideration is how Juliet's state of anxiety contributes to her actions. The first important point is that she has a naive view of love and not a realistic one. This matches well with Romeo's approach to love, where he is excessively romantic. If Juliet were more mature, she might have been able to understand Romeo's actions as not being based on real love. However, with her naivety, she accepts Romeo at face value. In this way, Romeo and Juliet are actually well-matched, where Romeo represents the kind of idealistic love that Juliet expects. Much like Romeo forced his feelings due to his own state of anxiety, Juliet imagines a depth of feeling that is unrealistic. This is seen in the balcony scene where Juliet says, "Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I'll no longer be a Capulet" (II, ii 37-38). In this statement, Juliet is saying that she will give up her own name to be with Romeo. This shows that Juliet is acting based on a fairy tale view of love, where the woman gives up everything for the man. This shows that Juliet is acting out of haste, rather than consideration. This is something she seems to realize as she says to Romeo, "I have no joy of this contract to-night: / It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;" (II, ii 122-123). Juliet is referring to Romeo here saying that he should consider his actions and decide if he really means it, but it also seems as if Juliet seems the same quality in herself. Rather than allow proper consideration, she tells Romeo to think about marriage and give his/her decision tomorrow. As she states, "If that thy bent of love be honorable, / Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, / By one that I'll procure to come to thee, / Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite; / And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay / And follow thee my lord throughout the world" (II, ii 148-153). In saying this, she is leaving the decision in Romeo's hands, as if his decision to ask for marriage will truly prove that he is serious. If Juliet was more mature, she might realize that a request for marriage is not a true sign that Romeo truly loves her. However, in her naivety, this is the only proof she requires. Her naivety is also the reasons that she accepts her own love for Juliet, blindly agreeing to do anything to be with him, including feigning her own death. It is also noted that in deciding to drink the poison and feign her own death, the alternative for Juliet is to be married to Paris. Juliet notes this in her soliloquy saying, "What if this mixture do not work at all? / Shall I be married then to-morrow morning? / No, no: this shall forbid it: lie thou there" (IV, iii 22-24). This shows that part of Juliet's motivation is based on her need to avoid marrying Paris. This avoidance is not just because she loves Romeo. Instead, it is based on the fact that Paris is a real man and does not have Romeo's romantic view of love. As Juliet finds herself pushed into marriage, Romeo becomes a way she can be married in a way that matches with her own maturity level. This illustrates that Juliet's love for Romeo is based on her own anxiety over a real marriage.

Considering both Romeo and Juliet, it can be seen that they are both driven by anxiety. For Romeo, the anxiety is related to his own hatred, with Juliet a means of overcoming that hatred. For Juliet, the anxiety is related to her being pushed into marriage before she is mature enough, with Romeo's romantic view of marriage matching her own. This illustrates that Romeo and Juliet is not the story of two star-crossed lovers who cannot help but fall in love. Instead, it is the story of two people and how they deal with the anxiety in their lives. Romeo and Juliet is a psychological story of two people with issues, where each becomes the solution for the other. In the end though, the connection between Romeo and Juliet is based more on anxiety than on love.…