Monday, August 2, 2010

The Many Moods of R&J

I think Mercutio had it right when he told Romeo "If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for prickling, and you beat love down" (Act 3, sc. 1).  There is a school of thought that believes this is the rantings of a man that believes that love can be controlled; however, in my opinion, it is not about controlling love - but about not being controlled by it.  The idea of living outside of love's grasp and writing your own story. 

This is the advice of a man who has clearly had some experience in the torture of heartbreak.  The realization that love provides very little consolation in times when you are out of its favor tends to come as a surprise to most; but keepy in mind that after all, it is misery that loves company - not love.  Romeo suffers from the tragic flaw of perpetual lust, motivated by his drive to find true love (which let's face it, is that what him and Juliet have? or is this just another feeble attempt to rebound from unrequited love that he simply is swept up in?).  He lets "love" take its course and control him which ultimately leads to his untimely demise.  If he had been more open to the idea that love is something that we do, not something we are, like his friend was expressing to him in very dramatic fasion - maybe he would have survived it.  Instead, the tragedy lies in the fact that love conquered him.

It's easy to rely on love as the catalyst for change and internal motivation when you are in cohoots with it, but it is another story entirely when you don't fall under its protection.  The heartwrenching reality is that love is something that is often outside of our control, the only choice we have it to know the difference and refrain from letting it devour us entirely.