Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wherefore Art Thy Brains, Romeo?

The other day I was at Costco when I picked up a counting book for toddlers called Romeo & Juliet: A BabyLit Counting Primer.  Not because I wanted to buy it, mind you.  Mostly because I saw it and thought, "Romeo and Juliet for toddlers?  What could possibly go wrong??"

It turned out to be a highly sanitized version of the story that inexplicably started out with "2 loves" instead of "2 houses" and ended with "10 kisses".  Which is good, I suppose, since explaining that Romeo and Juliet committed suicide over a days-old adolescent crush would be a little awkward for the under-three set:

"And then Romeo takes poison because he is a complete and utter dingbat and thinks he can't live without the girl he just met five pages ago.  And Juliet, seeing that Romeo is dead, stabs herself in the chest, because if you don't have your new boyfriend, you don't have anything... the end.  Okay, goodnight, sweetie!  Sweet dreams!"

Yeah... no.

Honestly, could this be anything but a cautionary tale?  Romeo and Juliet:  How Not to Handle a Relationship.

In fact, when I have teenagers I think I am going to assign book reports based on this play, with points for discussion like:  "Romeo and Juliet are morons.  Discuss."  And "List twenty-five reasons why this relationship cannot be considered 'love'."

If they complain I'll hand them some Windex so they can work on getting the light to break through my yonder windows.

Can't let them off too easy...

1 comment:

Stephanie Black said...

Seriously . . . you gotta wonder why Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the greatest romances of all time.