In-class write

The connection between Romeo and Juliet is a case of puppy love. According to the Cambridge University Dictionary, the exact definition of puppy love is a “romantic love that a young person feels for someone else”. Google’s definition says it is an “intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment, associated with adolescents”. We know that Romeo is 17, and Juliet is 13. Going by the exact definition of the dictionary, it appears as if this is indeed a case of puppy love. It is shown to be very sudden and intense, which matches the google definition, and is between two people of a very young age, one of which has barely become a teen. I suspect that this is a case of strong infatuation towards one another, not a case of true love, where there is a deeper connection. We can see this shallow point of view almost immediately from Romeo when he first sees Juliet. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5.52-53). Romeo’s immediate reaction to seeing Juliet is commenting on her beauty and looks, and from there he draws the conclusion that he had never loved somebody as intensely as she. This is suspicious, again, we see a reference to the definition of puppy love, it is an “intense but relatively shallow” form of love, where Romeo seems to only love Juliet based off of his looks. From Juliet’s point of view, we have less evidence of a shallow attachment to Romeo, but we still have evidence of an overly intense love at a very young age. “But my true love is grown to such excess, I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” (2.6.32-33). Juliet is saying how she loves Romeo very intensely, and the amount of love she feels for him is indescribable. Intense, and at a young age. All of the evidence we have been given from the text suggests that Romeo and Juliet is, in fact, a case of puppy-love, as both Romeo’s and Juliet’s traits match the descriptions perfectly.

Kulich is disregarding human biology in her claim that Romeo and Juliet were considered adults, and therefore they aren’t a case of puppy love. She claims that because you were considered an adult at the 14, before world war one and two, that therefore all people around and over the age of 14 would act like adults and should be treated as such. This simply isn’t the case. Human biology has remained mostly unchanged over the past thousand years, and there is no reason to believe that a 14-year-old in the Elizabethan era would have different brain structure than any 14-year-old today. Their brains were just as undeveloped as ours were right now, and although they may have been considered as adults, they were still children biologically and mentally. Because the brain determines our emotions and feelings towards others, an undeveloped brain, therefore, means impaired emotional reactions, and an incomplete understanding of human relationships. Our estimates show that the human brain has remained mostly the same since the dawn of modern homo sapiens, 1,200 million years ago. The only major change since then was 12,000 years ago when the human brain significantly shrunk. Otherwise, we remain the same beings as the humans that inhabited the Earth 400 years ago. Kulich’s claim is as nonsensical as claiming that if a 2-year-old was considered an adult, it would, therefore, have a strong understanding of romantic love. The claims have no basis in fact and draw upon outdated societal norms that did not understand human biology or much science at all. Therefore, I conclude that Kulich’s argument is invalid, doesn’t maintain any evidence other than outdated beliefs, and shouldn’t be taken into consideration when discussing whether Romeo and Juliet’s relationship was an example of puppy love or not.

Works cited:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-has-human-brain-evolved/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabethan_era

https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/know-that-juliet-13-half-but-how-old-romeo-51141

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_brain

http://humanorigins.si.edu/human-characteristics/brains

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