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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Such a lot happens to Romeo and Juliet within just a few days– falling hopelessly in love, going against their families, getting married in secret, being involved in fights, and even killing people, and ultimately, committing suicide when it seems to them that they can never be together. With all this, it’s almost hard to believe that Juliet is only 13. Romeo, we assume, is about the same age. Because Romeo and Juliet are so young, there are questions as to how we should feel about them. Should we want them to be together at such a young age, even if it means leaving their families forever and running off together?

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds Or should we sympathise with Juliet’s parents, who want their daughter to marry a wealthy man and have a comfortable life? Is 13 too young to know that you’re really in love, or to get married?

Romeo and Juliet's age

Anthony talks about something we often forget about Romeo and Juliet - their age.

What do you think about the questions Anthony asks in the video?

  • Should we want Romeo and Juliet to leave their families and be together despite being so young?
  • Is 13 too young to know that you’re really in love? What do you think is an appropriate age to get married?
  • Should we sympathise with Juliet’s parents who want her to marry the rich Count Paris?
  • Can we ignore things that would seem unusual today when we watch historical drama?

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council