"I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore wash'd with the farthest sea,
I would adventure for such merchandise."
Romeo and Juliet
Someone once asked me if Romeo and Juliet had a happy ending which really made me giggle...I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Yes, they both die in the end and it is technically a tragedy, but they are also together forever in eternal love. Forever young and in love, never to disappoint one another, let each other down or tire of each other. To me, that sounds like a happy ending of sorts, because the deepest, strongest, truest love is worth dying for.
I tend to read this play each year as the summer months loom into view - the balcony scene is perfect for the lighter, warmer nights. It reminds me that love is always unexpected - and sometimes it can be downright inconvenient! It knows no bounds, or prejudices; it breaks all the rules; it is a headlong dash into the unknown, with someone you hardly know, yet trust automatically. Love lingers in the ears long after the lips have spoken. As Juliet says;
"My ears have not yet drunk one hundred words
Of thy tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound.
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?"
It is a remembrance and a dream; a waking thought not easily shaken off; a rekindling of hope and a healing charm to soothe the
heart, lost in its chamber of solitude. It may never be more than fantasy; reality might prove too complicated for the dream to be fulfilled - yet, the dream lives on in the mind, of whispers in moonlight and what might have been. When Love's little arrows are lodged in your heart, it hurts a little bit.
Despite the tragic ending though, Romeo and Juliet is my favourite
Shakespearean play, because it is still so relevant to modern life. It can be tough to read if you are not used to the language, but Shakespeare designed his work to be seen, not read. He wanted people to watch his plays, so if you prefer to watch one of the film versions or go to the theatre, rather than read the play, I'm sure he would approve. It has inspired works of art, modern re-tellings and pop songs "for never was a tale of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo". It is certainly well worth reading.
"A thousand times goodnight...
Goodnight, goodnight! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow"