I Bite My Thumb At You, Sir.

This post is about – you guessed it – Romeo and Juliet. 

Shakespeare is, according to many literary nerds and people who’ve never even read any of his works, a genius. So they say, anyway. Others say he didn’t even really write his plays and yada yada, but I don’t really want to delve into that right now. 

I, myself, have never read any Shakespeare, nor seen any film based upon a Shakespearean script, but I do know the general story – two kids fall “in love”, they’re from opposing families who hate each other (not just in the you-TP’d-my-lawn type of neighbor hate, not just the you-purposely-ran-your-car-into-my-car type of neighbor hate, but the when-I-see-you-I’m-going-to-pull-out-my-sword-and-run-you-through type of neighbor hate), there’s some violence, they make some love, they kill themselves. 




Maybe I don’t understand because I have yet to read Shakespeare, or maybe I’m just not cultured enough. In any case, we’re beginning it as an in-class reading in my English class, so I suppose this post can be considered a preface. 

I will reaffirm or renounce this post when we finish. 

Until then, adieu. 




23 comments on “I Bite My Thumb At You, Sir.

  1. Well, teenagers are rather stupid and since Romeo and Juliet is pretty much about teenage stupidity…I guess it makes sense in that regard.

  2. I haven’t ever read it either (the melodrama would probably kill me), but I have read Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth and a couple of the others.

    Based on reading ABOUT the play, and generalizing what teenagers think like (sometimes even what I think like!) everything that happens is the biggest thing in the world at that moment. The frontal lobe hasn’t yet fully developed, so everything is a sort of dinosaur reaction– “I’m angry, fight, I’m sad, cry,” … adults are more subtle than children, and I think that’s in part because the frontal lobes have fully developped.

    Now, most of that may be completely stupid, because it’s synthesized with my current emotions (really, really angsty), what I read (ages ago), and what I’m trying to say (I have no idea).

    It doesn’t make sense, but I think it may be just a bit exaggerated to show the angst of every day life. Somewhere, someone, identified with Romeo or Juliet. It could be something of a cautionary tale (don’t jump to conclusions!), or it could be a translation of what Shakespeare was feeling at that moment (I think at one point tehre were theories that Shakespeare may have been a homosexual, so the angst of ‘forbidden love’ might have been translated int osomething that could be understood by the period.)

    • Ooooh, I like your explination. I think you’re right that it’s exaggerated to show the angst of everyday life. But I hate that type of thing. UGH. Like. I can’t read suicide books, because it makes me so angry. I honestly think that nothing is that serious.

      • Yup, I can’t stand it either. I read a book in Romanian once (apparently a good one), but it was with a teenager in high school whose ‘life was falling apart’… he had a suicide attempt with the love of his life, but despite the fact that they were both supposed to die, they had their stomachs pumped and both survived (though he thought she’d died). So 15 years later he finds out she’s still alive and married and they mak eplans to run away together, but she suddenly realizes she can’t (Thank GOODNESS!), and then he meets a girl he’d promised ages and ages ago, when he was little, that he’d marry her, and you can kind of tell they’re going to be good for each other…

        … in the end I think I liked that book. XD

        • You liked it? From the general storyline, it sounds like the type of book I wouldn’t like. I just can’t stand books with suicide/attempted suicide plots. I get legitimately angry.

          • That’s the problem. I don’t know if I liked it or if I just liked the way the social problems were presented in a sort of “Oh, that school system was cool” sort of way. I think I’ve idealized it as I went on… and the suicide parts definitely made me hate it for a while, (as well as the angst). I think the part that we have to realize is that, just like a villain, a suicide ‘victim’ is doing what he or she beileves is the ONLY THING POSSIBLE.

            Which is not to say I didn’t want to shred the book. But now, after about 3 years from reading it, I feel like I liked the book .XD And I have no idea why.

  3. I do adore Shakespeare (Hamlet is wonderful) but Romeo and Juliet was never my favourite play when we read it in school. What makes me like it a tad better is the theory that Shakespeare wrote it in order to provide a critique (or mockery… if you choose to call it that, haha) of teenage angst, romance, etc (the quote “those who run fast, stumble” really encapsulates that, I think).

  4. I’m reading it for ela too. I’m 4/5ths throughout it, and I hate it. Not because i can barely understand whats going on, but because of how stupid the main characters are. Within a couple hours of knowing each other, they both declare their love for each other and agree to get married.

  5. Kade, I’m not sure you want to go down this path. To quote Joyce, “Shakespeare is the happy hunting grounds of all minds that have lost their balances.” Of course, Joyce isn’t much better, but that doesn’t change the fact that once you start there’s no turning back. Shakespeare eats you up.

    • Shakespeare eats you up in a good way, or a bad way? In either case, I haven’t much choice. We’re doing an in-class reading. I can’t opt out of it.

  6. I’m sorry for being so late. I haven’t checked my email for three days, so I’m allowed to make excuses.

    Sorry about your dance thingy. I hope it works out better next time.

    I love Shakespeare. The language is great, and it takes a genius to write in iambic pentameter. I agree, Romeo and Juliet is a little weird, but it’s a story that people love wherein everyone dies– it has to be weird if it has that much of a contradiction. Shakespeare is interesting to me, though.

    • I forgive you.

      If I read Shakespearean plays that didn’t glorify suicide and promote teenage stupidity I’d probably like them. I’m going to give them all a chance.

      • You have to read Much Ado About Nothing. (Or watch the movie version with Emma Thompson). It is by far my favorite Shakespeare. Though there is a ‘suicide’ (Hero faints when accused of not being a virgin, and her immediate family declares her dead in order to draw out the villain of the play), there’s no angst (unless you count “I will never fall in love” declarations), and there is witty repartee.

        Seriously… you must read it. Or watch it.

        • I watched the newer version of the movie! I want to read it though. My school actually put on a production of it last fall. It was Beautiful. With a capital B.

          • I suck at replies. You may have noticed.

            At any rate, that sounds awesome! Read it, watch the Emma Thompson version, read it again. I watched it at one point with my sister, with the Sparknotes online translation next to us (to fully understand all nuances). We kept pausing it to explain things to each other or to see how the movie varied from the play (it’s barely noticeable). THEN, we got the Hey Nonny Nonny song stuck in our heads for the next week.

            though maybe that was just me.

  7. It’s Wednesday! That makes it exactly one week since this, your last post! I’m excited about what you’ll come up with!

  8. I’m sorry if my excessive use of exclamation points in my last comment frightened you. I’m calmer now. Please post.

Love it? Hate it? Say so. Right here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: