The reincarnation of Eros and Mania
Some people think that Romeo and Juliet died because their relationship was doomed from the beginning. This, far from false, is not the most important reason why they died; they were more apt to die as tragic heroes because of the type of lovers they were. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a play written by William Shakespeare that takes place in Verona, where a pair of star-crossed lovers take their own life because the obstacles of fate do not allow them to be together. In other words, Romeo and Juliet died in a tragedy, because they were Maniac and Erotic lovers respectively.
During the play, many characteristics show that Romeo is a stereotypical Maniac lover, the principal cause of his death. The main characteristics that a Maniac lover and Romeo share are the following: they are anxious to fall in love, become preoccupied and need the partner, loose control of the emotions, believe it is not worth living without the partner and create problems if they are non to intensify feelings. During the whole play Romeo is really anxious to fall in love and goes from woman to woman as bee from flower to flower, waiting to be accepted and loved back. This is when he finds Juliet and his Maniac characteristics are exposed to the maximum level. The most obvious examples of this is that Romeo doesn’t want to live if it is not with Juliet. At first he says he’d rather be killed than banished, but later on when he thinks that Juliet is dead, he actually kills himself. While speaking with the Friar and weeping like a cry-baby -loss of emotion-, Romeo says, “...heaven is here, where Juliet lives / I am banished. / And say'st thou yet that exile is not death?”
(III.iii.95). Romeo dies because Maniac lovers think it is not worth living without the company of their partner and because his extensive loss of emotion prevents him from creating an intelligent plan that allows him to live with Juliet. Because of fate, Romeo and Juliet could not live together and thus Romeo died.
Just as Romeo is a Maniac lover, Juliet shows to be an Erotic lover in many aspects. This type of lover has a warm relationship with parents -in Juliet’s case her nurse acts as her mom-, falls in love at first sight, sees love as very important and idealizes it a lot; this in many cases is the downfall of this type of love. Even though at the beginning of the play Juliet was an innocent kid, she quickly transformed into an Erotic lover as a result of her sudden reciprocal passion for Romeo. Juliet was not really anxious to fall in love at the beginning, but once she met Romeo, everything changed. A few days after claiming that marriage was an honor that she dreamt not of, she was desperate to have sexual intercourse with Romeo and was totally upset by his tardiness. She went as far to comparing herself to a “an impatient child that [had] new robes / And [could] not wear them”
(III.ii.88), meaning that she had married but was still a virgin. At this time she was truly eager to have sex and was idealizing with the idea of love more than usual. She considered love the most important activity in her day, clearly shown by the fact that she stayed in bed the whole day, waiting for Romeo, instead of doing something -or anything- productive. Additionally, when Romeo kills her beloved cousin, she prefers to stick with him, instead of getting angry. Here she not only shows her prioritization for love, but states that Romeo is her dearest lord.
Even though Romeo and Juliet came from similar backgrounds and shared several characteristics, they were very contrasting in many aspects. Juliet, being ironically the youngest of the two, proved herself to be a more mature person than Romeo. When Tybalt dies, she decides not to cry at all. When Romeo is banished from Verona, Juliet talks with the Friar and the Nurse, looking for a healthy solution that would allow her to live with her husband. On the other hand, Romeo also goes to the Friar, but instead falls and sobs for himself, that may not live with Juliet. At the beginning of the play, he is also having an emotional breakdown for Rosaline, another girl, who rejected him. A few hours after this event, he is about to marry Juliet, showing that he is really impulsive, extreme and fickle -not meaning he was unfaithful to Juliet-, in contrast with Juliet, who only had one love in her entire life and was a more thinking person. Their main similarity between them is having the ability to fall in love so deeply in such a little time. Their mutual devotion and decision to give up their families to be together is also quite admirable and yet was -along other factors- the main cause of their death.
Being Romeo and Juliet Maniac and Erotic lovers respectively, they fit in perfectly for dying as tragic heroes, the result of their extreme love. Even though Juliet presented herself as a more mature and thinking person, she still ended up suffering the outcome of her desperate Erotic love customs. Romeo, being a more childish and impulsive person, was the protagonist in the Maniac actions that lead to the tragedy of his death. This relationship’s inevitable ending was the perfect final dismissal for this majestic play.
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. New York: Amulet, 2007. http://shakespeare.mit.edu. Feedbooks. Web. Sept. 2011.