My Passion Play: Romeo and Juliet

Hey everyone!

Welcome to the new meme where I talk about couples in literature. You might wonder about the name of the meme, “My Passion Play” and I was hoping you would! It comes from Phantom of the Opera, The Point of No Return. During Christine’s solo she sings, “Our passion play has now at last begun!” See if you can spot it in the song below!

And now for this week’s featured couple! I’m going to begin with a classic, Romeo and Juliet!

What is it with Romeo and Juliet?

They fell in love and then they died. If you don’t know anything about Romeo and Juliet, that’s almost all you need to know. Romeo and Juliet was the ultimate story of starcrossed lovers, it was an epic romance that ended tragically.

I was a Romeo Juliet junkie as a teen. I was lucky enough to be a teenager when the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet came out. You know the one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes? (yeahthatoneyum)

That movie explained Shakespeare to me. I liked the fact that they used lines from the original play instead of changing things up and making the language more modern. What they did was make the actions more modern, guns, cars, dance music, that brought it to life. They even bordered on Mercutio being gay, doing that big Diana Ross inspired number in that silver dress.

I’ve watched that movie at least thirty times . . .

The thing about Romeo and Julie is that it’s timeless. There’s always going to be another forbidden love story, another set of starcrossed lovers being torn apart for circumstances beyond their control, another couple destined to an epic romance that comes with an epic fail. The story of Romeo and Juliet is the most popular story of forbidden love, but there were ones that came before them if you look at Tristan and Isolde, or Samson and Delilah. Those stories were also stories of forbidden and doomed love.

Romeo and Juliet fell in love not knowing which family they belonged to. They got married under the radar because of their feuding families. Juliet’s cousin Tybalt killed Romeo’s best friend Mercutio and Romeo killed Tybalt in a fit of rage. You’d think that would have made Juliet hate Romeo, but it only made her more desperate to escape her family. The priest gives Juliet the poison that will put her into a coma but won’t kill her. Romeo takes off before he’s exiled, and before the priest can tell Romeo what he’s done, Romeo hears that Juliet is dead. Nobody knows they’re married yet, that they’ve consummated that marriage. Juliet’s parents are trying to make her marry another man named Paris. Romeo risks coming back to the city where Juliet’s tomb lays and he brings real poison with him. He takes the poison at the moment Juliet wakes from her slumber, but it’s too late, he’s really dying. Unable to deal with living in a world without Romeo, Juliet kills herself. The family mourns their deaths and reconciles their differences because of it. They take on the guilt, knowing that if they hadn’t been fighting, Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t have hidden their love, and they wouldn’t have ended up dead.

Maybe I’m a morbid person but this is my favorite kind of love story. I like that it comes up against impossible odds and that it makes people think. I like that it ends badly because the bad endings stay with you, they shape you as a person, they help you fight through the bad things in your own life.

And now for my favorite song from the movie:

And now for all the linky fun!

Q. Who is your favorite literary couple this week?

If you want to join:
1) Post the button & your answer on your blog!
2) Enter the linky list with the URL to your blog post!

Please don’t post links to other things, or twitter please!

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