Romeo and Juliet – Love or Lust? Essay Sample

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Love is a very present thought that has been on my mind since I recently read Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, about two star crossed lovers’ deaths and their families finally ending their feud. This play is known as a romance story, it’s even been called the “greatest romance ever written.” However I disagree with the fact people think this story is about love. It is about two teenagers who don’t know the definition of love. They love the idea of love, but don’t actually experience love itself. If Romeo and Juliet isn’t about love, what is it about? What is Shakespeare wanting us to get from this play? He is wanting to show his readers not what love is, but what love is not.

At the beginning of this story Romeo is in love with this beautiful girl named Rosaline. Just fifteen minutes after he was sobbing over her, he came across an even more beautiful lady, Juliet. In this scene, Shakespeare is showing us how they experienced “love at first sight.” I do not believe in this “love at first sight,” I think people are mistaking lust for love. Love is being best friends. Love is hanging out at home in sweatpants, eating McDonalds and watching Disney movies all day. Love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. Lust however is being attracted to the looks of someone. Lust is defined as a very strong sexual desire. I think this is what Romeo and Juliet were experiencing in the story, lust rather than love. When you love someone, you love everything about them. How

could you love someone just by looking at them? You know nothing about the person, their interests, all you know is you are attracted to them sexually. Romeo and Juliet, in my opinion, is very far from the “best romance ever written.” I disagree with the fact this story is representing true love. I believe it is about lust, and that that is the point Shakespeare was trying to get across. This story isn’t about love, however it is giving us an example of what love is not. Shakespeare wrote this whole story about a thirteen year old innocent girl, and a sixteen year old boy who craves the attention from her. They are “head over heels” for each other the day they met and get married the next day, then die just a few days after. Most people when they read this are surprised and think it is utterly ridiculous because that doesn’t happen. The majority of people wait at least a year or years to get married. Shakespeare wrote an unrealistic love story, that happened in less than a week, to show us there is more to love than looks. Love is a feeling that develops over time, not in the period of 2 days. “True love isn’t Romeo and Juliet who died together. It’s grandpa and grandma who grew old together.”

There is a powerful lesson behind this story about the difference between true love and lust. Love is a deep feeling of affection towards someone, where lust is just an attraction. The play Romeo and Juliet is not representing love, it is simply mocking the false understanding of love.

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