William, My Man

Shakespeare. Oh Shakespeare, a name that strikes fear into many students like me, yet excitement to others (especially teachers). Out of Shakespeare’s many tragedies and comedies, one of his best known is Romeo and Juliet; “a classic” so I have been told. After bearing through months of sonnets, and decrypting the story, I came to enjoy the story of star-crossed lovers, tearing up a bit as the end was reached. Despite its roots in the ancient Shakespearean times (oh too long ago), Romeo and Juliet has impacted our modern day teenage lives.

Remember that couple in middle school that was “madly in love” by their second day of a relationship? Well there’s Romeo for you, pledging his love and his hand in marriage in less than two days. Then, later after the third day when they discover they no longer can be together (read to find out why), they both give up on life, empty without the other partner. Now back to that middle school couple; remember when after a week when they break up and the girl is sobbing hysterically? A modern day Juliet that confesses her lost love through tears instead of verse. Although Romeo and Juliet set an almost unrealistic expectation of love (something I still secretly hope for), there are many things we can learn from these two young (but ancient) lovers.

Remember, don’t get married right away, and get to know the guy before falling madly in love with him (especially his name). Take things slowly, and don’t let society form your idea of love. Love is unique to each person, and trying to make everyone happy is harder than it seems. So be yourself, have fun and enjoy life, at least before you start another Shakespearean play in class and spend a myriad of hours with your new best friend Sparknotes. And hey, there is a reason why we are still reading Shakespeare’s plays over three centuries later, so pay attention. It’s worth it.

Find Romeo and Juliet and more Shakespeare’s masterpieces here.

Megan, Teen Advisor, Northeast Branch

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