“I must be gone and live, or stay and die.” – Romeo and Juliet.

i must be gone and live, or stay and die

This scene came to my attention by chance, ancient love story involving 13 year olds aside, this scene made me think. Did these two know what they’re doing according to the adults?

No. Of course not.

The play was used to entertain, to warn, to describe social etiquettes at the time. However, the frame made me think of something else. Just how much purpose did these two characters feel when they’re with each other? (Despite the fact that purpose eventually lead to their respect destructions.)

But if you were to ask them, was it worth it?

Were they somehow fulfilled that they wouldn’t be otherwise?

The answer is possibly, definitely, a finalized yes (as concluded by their actions in the final act).

We might look at them and easily judge.

These 13 year olds, what do they know?

But in a time when a street-brawl, or catching some infectious disease could mean the end of life, then dying for love doesn’t seem that ridiculous – at least there’s active choice involved.

This also made me think, the enduring, long life – is that really what we should be striving for?

Long, does not mean happy.

Long does not mean time enjoyed. (Trust me, I have a 95 year old grandfather who’s in a vegetative state, I would know.)

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

But isn’t that just life? Are we meant to be enduring beings? Not at all.

More and more I see myself embracing the opposite of what I’ve been taught.

Why should I know where I’m going in life years ahead of time?

Aren’t we all oblivious characters in a play trying to make the best decisions according to what’s known to us? Yes, to outsiders that might seem outrageous or insane, but to the decision maker, our ultimate fate will always be in our hands.

“Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.”


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