Love in Romeo and Juliet Assignment

My 9th grade English I class and I have been steadily exploring the first two acts of Romeo and Juliet.  My memory takes me back to my own 9th grade year in high school, but not just to the English classroom.  I distinctly remember during the 4th marking period of the year, our Health class began the sauciest of units: Sex and Sexual Health.  I remember this, not because I am a preoccupied by such topics, but because our teacher, Mrs. Christiansen, said that she always waited until that time of the year because it would ensure that any antsy freshmen would pay attention when their minds want to drift to summer vacation.

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One of the topics that we talked about in addition to STDs, the ovulation cycle, and how to avoid date rape, was about the difference between Love, Lust, and Infatuation.

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One of Mrs. Christiansen’s examples for infatuation was Romeo and Juliet from the bard’s famous tragedy.  Well, we had just studied this in Mrs. Lowell’s class and I quite distinctly remember professions of love from the title characters, so what are you talking about?

Exhibit A:

Juliet.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Exhibit B:

Romeo.
I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes,
And, but thou love me, let them find me here;
My life were better ended by their hate
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.

Mrs. Christiansen’s point was that the connection shared between Romeo and Juliet might not be quite as complex as history and this blogger/teacher/hopeless romantic might want to admit to.

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Love: an intense feeling of deep affection that is prompted by devotion over a period of time

Infatuation: an intense, but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something

Had the four-day-old marriage lasted longer, had the couple been less impetuous, who is to say that their infatuation would not have grown into genuine love?  Many teachers have explored the question of the legitimacy of Romeo and Juliet’s love, but my view on the topic of what the heart wants was more about the various forms that love takes in the play.

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I presented the following PowerPoint and after each slide, a class discussion was held.

Types of Love PowerPoint

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One thought on “Love in Romeo and Juliet Assignment

  1. Pingback: Romeo and Juliet Unit | Mindsmith

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