Personal response to Romeo & Juliet

Although written in the 16th century by Shakespeare, readers of the play can find themselves in the plot and in the characters and their surroundings. Although the external living conditions in England in the early modern period are in stark contrast to the present day, people’s feelings have not changed. Love, envy, intrigue and openly displayed enmity reveal what drives people today as much as in Shakespeare’s lifetime. The build-up of tension within the tragedy captivates both the reader and the spectator from beginning to end: the exposition at the beginning, expressed in the clashes of the servants, the escalation during which Romeo and Juliet meet at the dance, fall in love and finally marry, and the retarding moment when Juliet plans with Father Lorenzo to stage a suspended animation that eventually leads to catastrophe and ends with the death of the two heroes. Shakespeare succeeded in making the reader feel sorry for the protagonists and in incorporating various aspects of a tragic conflict: Thus the actors are driven by idealistic motives, but also by a desire for revenge, which has been dragged along for far too long from the conflicts between the families. The play is undoubtedly worth reading – both for the unwavering, unprecedented love and the tension that Shakespeare was able to build up from the entanglements. Both fans of classical literature and readers who are more aloof can easily find their way into the language of Shakespeare and get carried away by the plot.

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