Romeo and Juliet Not Children

I agree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is simply puppy love between two infatuated children. Juliet, being thirteen years old, has not had any experience with relationships in the past. Romeo, although he has experienced love before, falls in and out of it quickly. He is inexperienced with long term love and with long term relationships. Throughout Romeo and Juliet’s 48 hour relationship, all of Juliet’s actions, such as kissing Romeo, accepting his marriage proposal, and proclaiming her love for him, seem to be forced by peer pressure. This is shown when Romeo asks to kiss Juliet for the first time, and she responds “Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer” (1. 5. 102). She is saying that she doesn’t want Romeo to kiss her, but he doesn’t listen and kisses her anyways. Later, after Romeo proposes marriage, Juliet claims that “[…] my true love is grown to such excess I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” (2. 6. 33-34). This explains why, after being pressured into a marriage by Romeo, she is suddenly head over heels in love with him. Romeo isn’t pressuring Juliet into loving him on purpose, but she is much younger and somewhat less experienced than he is, which causes her to look up to him for advice. Romeo’s actions surrounding relationships so far have all been related to superficial attraction to beautiful women, not about their personalities. This shows that he is still immature and believes that you can declare love while still in the “honeymoon phase”, which further proves that the love he feels for Juliet is nothing but puppy love and childish infatuation.

Kulich’s argument is somewhat effective, though it would have been more compelling had she written a short conclusion on why the information she provided was relevant to Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Most of the information she provided was historically accurate, though she did state, in reference to 14 year olds being considered as adults, “This was so until very recently, in the First World War until after the Second World War […]”. Technically, plans to raise the minimum compulsory schooling age in Europe were not implemented until after the war, as there were financial struggles. This means that, until 1944, one year before the Second World War ended, compulsory schooling was set at age 14. Kulich’s wording is not very clear, which can leave ambiguity for the reader, causing them to have a biased opinion.

Education Act 1918

Education Act 1944

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