There are numerous songs from all genres today that reference what is undoubtedly William Shakespeare’s most famous play Romeo and Juliet. Here are just a few:
- “Romeo and Juliet” by: Dire Straits
- “Check Yes Juliet” by: We The Kings
- “Love Story” by: Taylor Swift
- “My Kinda Party” by: Jason Aldean
- “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor” by: Arctic Monkeys
- “I Saw Her Standing There” by: The Beatles
- “Cherish” by: Madonna
- “Romeo and Juliet” by: Edwin McCain
- “Fever” by: Peggy Lee
- “I Don’t Care” by: Delta Goodrem
Now, I know some people are groaning right now because for many Romeo and Juliet is a terrible love story about teenage lust. However, I beg to differ; instead, people may be reading the play wrong. It is important to keep in mind that Romeo and Juliet was not written to be a love story at all – it is a TRAGEDY and therefore should be read as one. The goal of the tale was not for Romeo and Juliet to find undying love, yet this is what people expect when they try and read the play as a love story.
What makes Romeo and Juliet a tragedy? Well, it follows the same outline as Shakespeare’s other tragic plays such as Othello and Hamlet. That is: two young people fall in “love,” the young lady goes against her father’s wishes to pursue said love, the protagonist is a sympathetic but not necessarily a heroic character, and in the end when love is either not consensual and/or harmonic many of the characters in the play die (including the lovers) in a claustrophobic – or as is the case with this play – literally a tomb-like scene.
You can read Romeo and Juliet on Sparknotes!