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Romeo & Juliet: The Most Relevant Valentines Of All Time - Part 2

Έγινε ενημέρωση: 18 Σεπ 2022

By Eleftheria Kollia

Living their lives in two problematic households, losing loved ones at any moment through the continuation of a rivalry that plagues generations in both their houses, they just need to see a present and ultimately a future free of hatred and dark obligations.

Read the first part of the article here.

Romeo’s family raises him to be one more fighting champion for the Montagues while he’s a poet and a peacemaker at heart, when Juliet’s family raises her to be one more mother of the future champions for the Capulets, while she’s a free-spirited young woman loving a Montague. Their destinies are decided by their parental figures and when they come close to fulfill such destinies, they pay it with their lives. Romeo is tangled in guilt and agony after murdering Tybalt, who’s one of the Capulets, thus completing the subconscious “purpose” of every young Montague.

His crime gets him exiled and when Juliet “dies”, he realizes he has no one left by his side, which in turn leads him to suicide. On the other hand, Juliet firstly agrees to meet Paris as her potential future husband but later on, when her parents force the wedding on her, without knowing that she’s already married to Romeo, she falls to despair and makes an uncertain plan with Laurentius which fails and by the end brings both her and her lover to meet their doom. In conclusion, Romeo and Juliet commit an ultimate act of violence against themselves which mirrors the act of violence society has done against them. They die after fulfilling what their families envisioned for them, which they couldn’t possibly envision for themselves.

Thankfully, in today’s day and age, modern families try to be more aware, understanding, kind and open with their children’s needs. I, myself, have been part of a beautiful family who listens to me and helps me lovingly to achieve my own goals and dreams, without forcing me to do anything I don’t want.

Unfortunately, though, this privilege for which I’m thankful is not the case for every child in the world. Both in western and eastern societies there are still plenty of households, forming entire systems that think their offspring as property, invading violently in their lives and abusing them criminally in either physical or emotional ways. Romeo and Juliet, even after so many centuries, are still among us, even if we choose to ignore them. Young people of different ethnicities, social class, sexualities are still prohibited from experiencing their ideal lives. This robs them of their right to love not only their romantic partners, but even their families, their careers, their hobbies, their craft, their nature and ultimately themselves.

Romeo and Juliet will always be relevant because it’s not only a strong love story, but a strong case for any kind of love.

It is a tale which reminds that we should be open and brave in the face of changes the way pure love can be. It speaks as an advocate for respectful coexistence with other people, no matter what our prejudices may be. Whether we are Montagues or Capulets, we can still live together under the sun of our own Verona peacefully, even if we don’t mutually agree in the way we view life or events. Speaking our minds and our different opinions is crucial for freedom and everyone must have their right to do so. But, the fact that different opinions must be allowed to be expressed doesn’t in turn give anyone the right to act on those opinions in violent ways towards other people. Violence is never the answer and should never be enforced in the name of justice or love. Real justice and love do not produce violence.

To close this dedication, I would like to make a small nod to the history of Saint Valentine’s Day. According to some legends and tradition, Saint Valentine was a Christian clergyman who performed weddings among Christian Soldiers who, at the time were prohibited to marry and persecuted. He was martyred on February 14th, after giving the chance to many Romeos and Juliets of his time to live even for a brief moment their “happily ever after”.

I hope you’re all appreciating the love surrounding you, whether that may be romantic or not. Even if Valentine’s Day is a commercial feast, it’s still a beautiful, annual chance to remind ourselves the sheer importance of the right to cherish everyone and everything we hold dear.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

Eleftheria Kollia


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