Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Romeo and Juliet Live On

Maltese newspapers are currently feeding on a tragedy that occurred locally a few weeks ago involving two young people. I will not be making any comment with regards to the case or give my views as to whether the young man in question should be found guilty, as I do not believe it right to assume anything when I (and in fact no one but the couple in question) was not present at the time of the misadventure. So the only reason I mention this police case is because the more I read about the evidence as well as the one survivor's version of events, the more I am reminded of Shakespeare's "star-cross'd lovers" Romeo and Juliet, both teens and mere years younger than these local sweethearts who suffered a similar fate.

Putting right and wrong aside, as well as whether the modern day Romeo's version of events is to be trusted, I have a nagging feeling that beneath everything else, this really was about love and society's interference. Having been fifteen myself, albeit quite a while ago, I think I can safely state that a fifteen year old knows what she want (or thinks she does) and is definitely not so susceptible, so that things might not have taken a fatal turn had the adults not interfered. Seriously, is this the first time a minor has had a relationship with a young man quite a few years older than herself? Few such cases end in tragedy? The adults' prying and resistance are what wrote this plot's scene of desperation in my opinion and might have been avoided altogether. And so I remember Shakespeare's version of Romeo and Juliet, intent on making their own choices and led to their death by society's rules.

PS - I say 'Shakespeare's version' as Romeo and Juliet were initially created by another writer, whose poem suggested their tragedy was a result of the young people's refusal to obey the parents' rules. Meanwhile Shakespeare turned the tables onto the ever interfering parents who, for their pride, lost that which they held dear.

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