If promise, trust, and acknowledgement are evident in a relationship, the relationship isn’t children engaging in “puppy love” but rather mature love. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it is clear that all three factors are shown to the readers, which is why I strongly disagree with Jindra Kulich’s statement, “Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet [are] ‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love”” (Kulich). When Romeo sees Juliet at the party in Act 1, he immediately feels a sense of attraction and starts to question his feelings for Rosaline. He wonders, “did my heart love till now? […] For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5. 52-53). Juliet, even after realizing Romeo is a Montegue admits that she loves him for she “must love a loathed enemy” (1.5. 141). The quotes show Romeo and Juliet acknowledge the fact that they love each other regardless of the current rivalry between both houses. When they realize they love each other, Romeo asks Juliet to “exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for [his]” (2.2. 127). In response to Romeo’s confession, Juliet mentions she will send a messenger in place of her to receive Romeo’s confession and will not fail to do so. This shows, both Romeo and Juliet are not only deeply in love with each other and fully trust each other to promise to get married forthwith.
During the Renaissance, the age of consent to get married with parental permission was 14 years of age for boys and 12 for girls (“Elizabethan Wedding Customs”). I believe Romeo and Juliet is historically accurate up to an extent because I completely disagree with Jindra Kulich’s argument when she states Romeo and Juliet are engaging in puppy love. The fact that they show trust, promise, and acknowledge each other proves their relationship isn’t young love. Considering the fact life was different in the 1590s than it was in the 1940s, Kulich cannot assume how it was like living in Ancient Verona as a 14 year old. Additionally, the message Shakespeare is trying to deliver through Romeo and Juliet isn’t explaining how 14 year olds were treated and considered in the 1590s. Shakespeare is showing the audience the power of love and that although love may sound like a good thing, there are harms and risks that come along with it. Due to the fact jobs and work aren’t the main theme of Romeo and Juliet, we can’t expect Shakespeare to have included every bit of detail of each character’s life.
Elizabethan Wedding Customs, Feb. 2017, www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-wedding-customs.htm. Accessed 21 Jan. 2018.