The relationship between Romeo and Juliet is not something you typically see in this age. Many people think of Romeo and Juliet as the perfect relationship, but in reality if they read the play then they will realize it is merely puppy love. First of all, it is important to note that Romeo and Juliet have known one another for barely two days, and they are already getting married. When Romeo first sees Juliet, he remarks that “she doth teach the torches to burn bright! […] Forswear it, sight! For [Romeo] ne’er saw true beauty till this night (I.V.44-53).” In this quote we see Romeo becoming attracted to Juliet based solely on appearance. He is commenting on her looks, and doesn’t even bother knowing her personality before declaring his love for Juliet. This is similar to the infatuation young teens feel towards each other when they are first experiencing “love”. Their brains aren’t matured yet, and so their idea of “love” is skewed. Additionally, when Juliet says her “love has grown to such excess [she] cannot sum up half [her] wealth” we view her opinion on their relationship (II.VI.33-34). From her perspective, their love is so rich that she can’t even count half of it. Keep in mind the two have known one another for merely two days, and Juliet is expressing how rich and beautiful their relationship is. Often adolescents take rash decisions because their prefrontal cortex is still developing, and they instead rely on their amygdala to make decisions. Often these decisions are rash, and I believe this is what occurs in the play when Romeo and Juliet decide to marry one another. Of course, my response is only based off of where we have read up to in the play so far, so we will gain a further insight of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship later on.

 

    To an extent, Kulich’s argument is true and historically accurate. When she states that males were legally allowed to marry at fourteen years of age and females at twelve, this is a true fact from the Elizabethan era. However, when Kulich states that once an individual became fourteen then they would be given the same rights as an adult and freedom to do whatever they want, this point is historically inaccurate. Most of the marriages this young were forced and the humans actually being wedded did not have much say in the event. Additionally, in these cases parental consent was required, which is not what happens in Romeo and Juliet. Moreover, parents married their children at such a young age to bridge closer to another family, and so that they can improve their relations. In Romeo and Juliet, this could have been a possibility where the Montagues and the Capulets marry Romeo and Juliet to end their feud and bring peace. Nonetheless there still would have been lots more parental influence involved and definitely not as much freedom as Romeo and Juliet both have in the play with their relationship. In conclusion, the love between Romeo and Juliet isn’t something that would have historically happened based on the beliefs and values of the time, proving Kulich wrong that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is something that would’ve likely occurred in their era.

 

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-wedding-customs.htm

 

https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/marriage-and-courtship