Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Bard and the Universality of Young Love

I have strange and sporadic areas of interest. Sometimes it's science, sometimes it's history. Some times it's science, sometimes it's mathematics. Right now, its Shakespeare.

I've been listening to recorded lectures on him, watching productions of his plays, reading his sonnets. One of the goals of my exploration is to find out why Romeo and Juliet has such universal appeal and why it has endured as one of his most popular plays despite being written some 400 years ago.

I'm not academic so I can't give any sort of elaborate dissertation on the subject but I think it has something to do with young love and the universality of that deliriously dizzying feeling. Everyone falls in love when they are young and, sadly, pretty much every one of those small, sweet romances is doomed from the very start. Folks remember these early affairs fondly and somewhere (in the back of the back of the back of their minds) can still feel the smart of the breakup. I think it is these memories of young love and love lost which give Romeo and Juliet it's universal appeal.

Anyway, what's all this have to do with Baby J and being a father? Well, Baby J is not going to be a baby forever. She will become Teenager J and then Adult J and then Senior Citizen J at some point. And somewhere during those transitions she is likely to encounter young love and her first heartbreak. From my vantage point as an adult, I romanticize the past. I see all that as being very sweet and charming. But she might not feel the same way as she's going through it.

Who knows? It may be sweet and charming for her or it may be bruising and bewildering. Either way, I'm pretty much certain that it is a universal occurrence and when she comes out on the other end she will, at the very least, be able to appreciate Shakespeare a bit more.

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