What greater punishment is there than life when you’ve lost everything that made it worth living? -William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
I, and it seems everyone else who went to high school in the United States, remember being forced to read “the greatest play ever written”, Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet”. This play has spawned countless movies (as well as the late-teen careers of Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio) but as wonderful as everyone keeps insisting that it is, it is too often forgotten that “Romeo & Juliet” is a tragedy. Yes, a tragedy, not a romance. Because there is nothing romantic about teen infatuation leading to a string of familial homicides and inadvertent double suicide. A relationship that grows on a foundation of secrets and lies can only bloom misery. And the only kernel of wisdom to be found in the whole mess is that life can often be cruel when one feels that the have nothing to live for. However, unlike the titular characters, losing someone you love is not enough of a reason to cut your own life short.
Sometimes I wonder why anyone would think that subjecting hormonal teenagers to this is wise, let alone necessary….