Romeo & Juliet: Was Truly Shakespeare the 1st to Write About the 2 Lovers?
Hey dear Story Lovers!
Some of you might enjoy love stories, some others might not.
No matter which category you put yourselves into, I bet you've all heard about "Romeo & Juliet"; one of the most iconic love stories ever.
"Romeo & Juliet" is one of Shakespeare's most famous theatrical plays. The two young lovers are children of two noble but hostile families of Verona, Italy. They choose to defy their families' hostility for their love's sake. Their love story, however, results into tragedy and death for the couple. Quite a few people - including researchers - have claimed the original
inspiration came from a real life couple. Nothing like this has ever been proved however.
Shakespeare, however, was not the first to write about Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo, Juliet and their love story were already famous in the 15th century in Italy. So, we first meet the story written in Italian by Masuccio Salernitano. It was a short story of a collection under the title "Il Novelio" back then.
We meet the two beloved heroes' story again in Italian, in the 16th century: "Giulietta & Romeo by Matteo Bandello and "Historia Novellamente Ritrovata di Due Nobili Amanti" or "A Story Newly Found of Two Noble Lovers" by Luigi da Porto.
Romeo & Juliet's story, however, may have first crossed William Shakespeare's eyes in English instead of Italian; in a poem this time. It was a few years before the great British poet's birth (in 1564) Arthur Broke wrote the poem "The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet". A tale under the title "The Palace of Pleasure" by William Painter followed in William Shakespeare's youth.
So, Romeo, Juliet and their love story were already famous when Shakespeare decided to write about them. Which of the works above could be the great poet's inspiration?
There is claim it probably was Arthur Broke who inspired William Shakespeare. Probably because his "Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet" is the most famous among its "competitors".
"Romeo & Juliet" by Shakespeare, however, differs from its... ancestors. And that's because Shakespeare shows sympathy through his words to his heroes. Arthur Broke, on the other hand, treats them kind of cruelly, almost telling his readers the tragedy in Romeo and Juliet's love story was a just punishment for their disobedience to their parents' will and enjoying love without the marrital bonds.
Well, we're talking about the 16th century! It probably made sense to treat a couple like Romeo and Juliet this way back then.
Maybe that's what made Shakespeare the great poet he became: his choice to defy his time's "ethics" and almost feel sorry for Romeo and Juliet's tragic end to their great love. And maybe that's why his "Romeo & Juliet" stood out among the other works on the great love story. Well, his work was a theatrical play while the other works weren't, thus giving the two lovers the chance to speak themselves their hearts in this unique, lyrical way. But there's a reason why things happen!
Romeo and Juliet, to conclude, were a work William Shakespeare drew inspiration for from previous works. No matter, it is that iconic love story that will always be bringing tears in our eyes, whether we like love stories or not.