Monday, May 05, 2008

A Pair of Star-crossed Lovers....

That's how Shakespeare described Romeo and Juliet. Today, I'd describe them as a pair of horny teenagers who needed to be grounded, have the keys to the stable taken a way and get their bottoms soundly smacked. Yep, I have little patience with these two, classic theater notwithstanding.

They were both in their mid-teens, for starters. Okay, so back in the Bard's day that was marriageable age. Urgh. Can you imagine being married to some of the guys you dated in Junior High? Freshman year in High School? Both Romeo and Juliet suffered from the ohmigod syndrome - "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?"..."Wherefore art thou, Romeo?"... which translates today into "Yo, doll." and "Hey dude."

The Montagues and the Caplets needed a good dose of Dr. Phil. What happens when you tell kids with hormones leaking out their ears that they can't see someone? You got it. They break every rule in the book to do JUST THAT. So the families aren't totally blameless when it comes to star-crossing these teenage twits. And you can bet your quill that if there'd been any financial gain in uniting the families, Romeo would have been marched up the aisle beside Juliet in two seconds flat. Marriage was a sanctified business maneuver more than anything else in those days. Aha. Juliet doth bring a hefty 401K with her, which cans't enhance our coffers most righteously. Translation: Romeo, DO her, kid, with our blessings.

You may gather from this that I have little patience for the theme of star-crossed lovers. It worked for Will since he lived in a different age with different values. His words linger on today because of their magnificence...not necessarily because they're about idiot teens who wanna get laid. (I note Hamlet was also in his late teens. Which explains a lot.) But in this day and age? Star crossed lovers don't really work for me. If you're star crossed, you've screwed up somewhere or you're thinking with your hormones not your brains. It's the twenty-first century. I find it impossible to create a story of "star crossed lovers". I can't relate, and if I can't, then the story isn't going to work for readers, either.

The one exception? West Side Story. Maybe it's because it was set to music. Maybe that touch of lyrical magic - and songs that stay in your head for weeks on end - maybe the fact that it included men who could dance up a storm.... (Did you ever notice that women who like to dance marry men who don't? There's an interesting psychological theory in there someplace. But I digress...) Yeah, West Side Story did justice to those classic star-crossed lovers and suspended my belief enough that I could cry when Maria and Tony never got their happy ending. Er...I still do. LOL

So, having made poor Will Shakespeare cringe, if not roll over in his grave, I'll leave you with a parting thought for this Monday. Star crossed lovers need to get a life and work it out. And for the rest of us? Have a day like Maria! Feel PRETTY!!!


Lover of Books said...

I agree that it has to be believable. I loved romeo and juliet. but if people are supposed to be together, they cannot always hide they have to stand up to their parents. But that is just my humble opinion.

Ciana Stone said...

Amen sister!! I wish I could have said it so eloquently and with as much humor :)

Nicole Austin said...

Damn teenagers! LOL! I guess Will didn't have the benefit of knowing the psychology of the forbidden.

Thanks a lot, Sahara. Now I have to get out my West Side Story DVD.

N.J.Walters said...

I'm not a big fan of star-crossed lovers, but it can work sometimes. Although, I always thought that Romeo and Juliet both needed a good smack. *g*