In the world famous play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare has developed a beautifully written love story that has nothing to do with love. Shakespeare was a master of the didactic tale that only hints at the lesson that is portrayed. This tradition has been copied again and again in English children’s verse, Dr. Seuss, and various movies that are coming out to this day. People don’t want to feel like their being told how to think or being taught a lesson, rather they want to be entertained and accidentally learn something. Romeo and Juliet; however, was so captivating and captured such a naturally human experience of families keeping lovers apart, the audience to this day, have lost the true educational lesson that is being portrayed. The lesson that anything used in excess, even the greatest emotion in the universe – Love, is bad and will kill you sooner rather than latter.
The great Shakespearean tragedy begins immediately setting the stage for the teaching of excess in the third line when it states that the parents have an “ancient grudge”. To use the word ancient, this is a century long grudge that has caused many lives and much unhappiness. In fact, considering this word ancient again, the people who fight this grudge now are not even the ones that created it. They are merely holding onto a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Shakespeare is pointing out the absurdity of carrying hate from one generation to another, as well as showing how this type of “excessiveness” has and will make “civil hands unclean”, or innocent blood will be on innocent hands. (line 4).
The play continues with a a beautiful play on words that have been misread since its first owing back in 15 . This couple who we are going to read about, are not just two people of the world, but “from the fatal loins of ..two foes” and a “pair of star-crossed lovers [that] take their life….
To drive the didactic point that “anything in excess will kill you” further into the readers mind, he put the lesson into the most respected person in the play – Friar Lawrence. Shakespeare would often give either a “fool” or a “church person” the speeches that would explain the entire play, and the reasoning for the play. These were also usually the voice of reason and morality int he play; unless he meant to comment on the goings on in the church or the church environment. These characters were considered free from the constraints of polite society. The “fool” being that he was part of the old adage, “there is a thin line between Genius and Insanity”. Fools were considered idiots, therefore allowed ideas and comments that were usually not allowed, even by the clergy. The church-men were bound by their faith to tell no lie, and only instruct in the utmost good and wholesome way. Therefore, no matter the answer to the question, it would be honest, even if it was to the dislike of the hearer. Friar Lawrence’s speech states that there are tons of herbs and plants that are very bad for us, but they are brought upon the earth for many good reasons. However, these also can be used for good things by us, but he warns that when you change it from what it was originally intended or its “true birth,
This young couple was destined to die, for they did not understand the idea of temperance, even in love. Their love affair was but mere days, and yet they were unfathomably so in love they would kill themselves rather than be apart. This hastiness, as well as addiction, is the downfalls of youth. Very few people become addicted to anything past their youth, but the addiction they have created lives as a reminder of their inability for growth and evolution to someone who is not dependent on anything. So we morn for the “lovers”, yet must remember the causes of the happenings.