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The Relevance of Romeo and Juliet in Today’s Teens

The play Romeo and Juliet is written by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare in 1597, depicts a romance between the teenage star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. The story takes multiple twists and turns as we follow the two teens through their romance and eventual downfall. The actions of Romeo and Juliet are often analyzed, and a recurring question is whether these actions are relatable and relevant to modern-day teens.

Towards the beginning of the play, Romeo and Juliet, two teens coming from conflicting families, meet and fall in love at first sight. After killing a member of Juliet’s family, Romeo is banished from the city. Juliet and the wishy-washy Friar Lawrence come up with a plan to fake her death so she can run away with Romeo. After a misunderstanding, Romeo finds Juliet’s “dead” body and kills himself. When Juliet wakes up, she kills herself at the sight of Romeo’s dead body. The ideas and lessons in Romeo and Juliet are not relevant today because the ideas of love and impulsive behavior aren’t something that modern teens can relate to because the majority of teens will think through the consequences before doing something.

In my opinion, people in the modern day can’t relate to Romeo and Juliet’s depiction of love because many teens will want to know someone for a longer amount of time before truly committing to a relationship. The day after meeting Juliet, Romeo goes to his designated trusted adult, Friar Lawrence, and asks, “I’ll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray: That thou consent to marry us today.” Romeo asks Friar Lawrence to marry him and Juliet illustrates how unrealistic it is in the modern day for teens to rush into the depths of a romantic relationship given that many teens tend to take their time getting to know someone before fully committing to a relationship. On the other hand, some people might argue that the love between Romeo and Juliet is relatable to modern audiences because teenagers fall in love just as quickly as Romeo and Juliet. Despite the assertion that teens fall in love just as quickly as Romeo and Juliet and rush things just as much as they do as well, modern teens are more likely to find love in Romeo and Juliet as not relatable because they are less likely to fully commit to a relationship so quickly and are open to other options and opportunities. In the article “Gen-Z’s Relationship with Romance is a Complex One” published on Thred.com by Jessica Byrne, Byrne states, “Only 1 in 10 Gen-Z’s say they are ‘committed to being committed’ with an acute awareness that relationships tend to come and go. Just as Gen-Z isn’t static – moving cities, changing their style, and switching jobs frequently – they don’t expect their relationship to be stuck in time either.” (Gen-Z’s Relationship with Romance is a Complex One). This idea that modern teens recognize that relationships change and differentiate reveals that many teenagers aren’t willing to fully commit to their partner until they know them fully because of the normalization of change within their generation. While the impulsive behavior that Romeo and Juliet’s display isn’t relatable to modern audiences, the depiction of love also falls into that category.

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In regards to impulsive behavior, the portrayal of it in Romeo and Juliet is not relevant to modern teens because the majority of teens will hesitate to do impulsive things if the outcome will be unfavorable to them. In the Smithsonian Magazine article by Dan Romer titled, “The Impulsive “Teen Brain” Isn’t Based in Science”, Romer discusses, “If adolescents were truly reckless, they should show a tendency toward risk-taking even when the risks of bad outcomes are known. But they don’t. In experiments where the probabilities of their risks are known, adolescents take fewer risks than children.” (The Impulsive “Teen Brain” Isn’t Based in Science). The ability of teenagers to fully understand the consequences of their actions illustrates that any modern teen would know that the risks that Romeo and Juliet take will not end well since teens can recognize the difference between something that is safe and unsafe.

On the other hand, some might argue that teens do make impulsive and potentially harmful decisions due to the fact that they are young and don’t know any better. While those in opposition claim that teens will do impulsive things no matter the consequence, teens are smarter than you think, and typically, they realize that the consequences of their behavior will impact them more than the adrenaline that comes while doing something impulsive. After finding out that Romeo has been banished for killing Tybalt, Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence and says, “And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo sealed, shall be the label to another deed, or my true heart with treacherous revolt turn to another, this shall slay them both.” (4.1.57-60). Juliet’s impulse to kill herself due to Romeo’s banishment illustrates the recklessness of Juliet that wouldn’t apply to the average teen these days given that many teens recognize that there are consequences to their actions that they will need to attend with. To sum up, the depiction of love in the play Romeo and Juliet is not relevant to modern audiences which reveals how unnecessary it is to continue to study William Shakespeare’s works in class.

The ideas and lessons in Romeo and Juliet are not relevant today because the ideas of love and impulsive behavior aren’t something that modern teens can relate to because the majority of teens will think through the consequences before doing something. The love in Romeo and Juliet doesn’t translate to modern teens due to being more used to change and how that might affect their relationships. Gen-Z tends to be more open when thinking about relationship prospects. The Depiction of impulsive behavior isn’t something that everyday teens will be able to relate to because teens tend to understand the consequences of their actions, and therefore don’t rush into reckless situations as frequently as Romeo and Juliet. The perception that teens are stupid and unable to see past their own stubbornness is an idea that has permeated through dozens of generations. Romeo and Juliet further enforce that way of thinking which leaves little room to actually explore the behavior of teens outside our preconceived notions. I think it’s about time that we look outside those stereotypes and see beneath our biases.

Works Cited

    1. Byrne, Jessica. “Gen-Z’s Relationship with Romance Is a Complex One.” Thred.com, Thred., 17 Feb. 2022, thred.com?s=gen zs relationship with romance.
    2. Romer, Dan. “The Impulsive “Teen Brain” Isn’t Based in Science.” Https:Www.smithsonianmag.com, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2017,
    3. www.smithsonianmag.comscience-natureimpulsive-teen-brain-not-based-science-180967027.

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