Romeo and Juliet by Willam Shakespeare


I was fifteen when I first read Romeo and Juliet. I remember liking the story, however I can't remember if I thought it was romantic. A lot of people seem to think it is and I don't really know why. What does the story have to contain, to be considered romantic? 

In my opinion Romeo and Juliet is a story about two confused teenagers who can't communicate properly and their haste brings them to their downfall. They both have dreams about future events, sort of premonitions, but they don't listen to them, let alone act upon them. At the beginning of the story Romeo is in love with Rosaline. He talks a lot about it with his friends. It's like listening to a modern teenager: "She doesn't want me, what am I to do?" His friends convince him to go to a party and meet her there. But instead of Rosaline, Romeo meets Juliet and one look at her is enough for him to immortally fall in love. I know I'm being cynical, but it is immortal, isn't it. Anyway, let's go back to the party. Who threw it? The Capulets. And who are they? Oh, yes, the enemy.

NURSE
His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
The only son of your great enemy. 

JULIET
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathèd enemy.

No, it's not romantic, it's a story about hate. Two families have hated each other since forever and nobody remembers why. Children inherit the hate from their parents. Romeo and Juliet aren't just the two star crossed lovers but two teenagers wrapped up in somebody else's hate. They just accepted it as theirs,  no questions asked, like generations of their ancestors before them. When they fall in love, they are determined to see their relationship through. As if things weren't complicated enough, Friar Laurence comes up with an elaborate plan, but the plan in the end backfires. Catastrophe is inevitable. Or is it? Apparently what both families need is a catastrophe for their hate to cease.

Ages ago I watched the Franco Zaffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet film. There was the last scene I found the most tragic. When their children died, the families made up. The scene showed people shaking hands, like at the end of a sports game. Only this time the price was too high.


Romea in Julijo sem prvič prebrala pri petnajstih, za domače branje pri slovenščini. Spominjam se, da mi je bila zgodba všeč, ne spominjam pa se ali se mi je zdela romantična. Mnogim se zdi romantična in po pravici povedano ne razumem zakaj. Kakšna mora biti zgodba, da bi bila romantična?

Po mojem mnenju je Romeo in Julija zgodba o dveh zmedenih najstnikih, ki ne zmoreta normalno komunicirati, kar ju pripelje do propada. Zanimivo je, da se obema sanja o prihodnih dogodkih, vendar nihče od njiju o tem ne razmišlja, kaj šele, da bi se po sanjah ravnala. Na začetku je Romeo zaljubljen v Rosaline. Veliko se o tem pogovarja s prijatelji. Pravzaprav je tako, kot da bi poslušali modernega najstnika: "Ne mara me, kaj naj naredim?" Prijatelji ga prepričajo, da gre z njimi na zabavo, da jo bo lahko tam srečal. Vendar namesto Rosaline, Romeo sreča Julijo in se nesmrtno zaljubi. Ja, saj vem, cinična sem, ampak saj je nesmrtno, a ni? Kakor koli, vrnimo se k zabavi. Kdo jo je priredil? Kapuleti. Kdo pa so oni? Ah, ja, sovražniki. 

DOJILJA
Ime mu je Romeo! Montague je
in Vašega sovražnika edinec.

JULIJA
Ljubav edina torej, iz sovraštva
edinega rojena! Videla sem
prezgodaj in spoznala sem prepozno.
Oj kakšna pač usoda je nemila
Ljubezen to mi v srcu porodila!*

Ne, to ni romantična zgodba. To je zgodba o sovraštvu. Dve družini se že od nekdaj sovražita, nihče se ne spominja zakaj. Otroci podedujejo sovraštvo od staršev. Romeo in Julija nista samo nesrečna ljubimca, ampak najstnika, ujeta v sovraštvo drugih. Preprosto sta ga sprejela, brez vprašanj, podobno kot generacije njunih prednikov. Potem, ko se zaljubita, sta odločena, da se bosta šla zares in ljubezen izpeljala do konca. Kot da situacija ni dovolj komplicirana, se pater Lorenzo izmisli dovršen načrt, ki se na koncu, jasno, izjalovi, katastrofa pa postane neizbežna. Morda pa je ravno katastrofa tisto, kar obe družini potrebujeta, da se prenehata sovražiti.

Pred davnimi leti sem gledala filmsko verzijo Romea in Julije v režiji Franca Zaffirellija. Spominjam se zadnjega prizora, ki se mi je zdel najbolj tragičen. Ko otroka umreta, se družini pobotata. Prizor prikazuje ljudi, ki si segajo v roke, podobno kot športniki po zaključku tekme. Le da je bila tokrat cena previsoka.

* Shakespeare, William, Cankar, Ivan (1904). Romeo in Julija. URN:NBN:SI:DOC-L16NFAJD from http://www.dlib.si

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