The Cause Of Teenage Behaviors In Romeo And Juliet?

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“I would there were no age between ten and three and twenty... For there is nothing in between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting” (Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act III, Sc. iii). Shakespeare discusses the nature and folly of youth in several of his writings, among the most famous being Romeo and Juliet. Teenagers instigated the play's tragedy. Although Romeo and Juliet made poor decisions, their decisions were normal because of the immaturity of their brains.
Teenagers analyze the surrounding environment from a flawed perspective compared to adults. Molly Edmonds compares teenage brains to “entertainment centers that haven’t been fully hooked up” (Edmonds). Human brains take several decades to mature
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Teenagers experience a rush of hormones around puberty. “Most people consider teenage years to be a rush of sexual hormones, however the brain has an increase in dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin” (Anderson). Each of these hormones affect different aspects of behavior. “Dopamine creates pleasure and Oxytocin and Vasopressin act as bonding hormones. Oxytocin causes women to trust their partner to make bad decisions” (Anderson). The change in hormones causes erratic behavior in teenagers. Both Romeo and Juliet display this erratic behavior throughout the play. Romeo is ecstatic when Juliet returns his feelings and risks his life to be with her. He does this despite not knowing her because the pleasure he experiences from being loved by Juliet keeps him from analyzing the danger of the situation. Juliet agrees to marry Romeo when they see each other again the night they met. The connection between the two lovers is reminiscent of the quote, “Parting is all we need to know of hell” (Dickens) because the two are so drawn to each other that they cannot bear to be apart. “Romantic love is like a cocaine high, except you can come down from a cocaine high. Romantic love is an obsession” (Helen Fisher). The amount of Dopamine and Oxytocin coursing through Juliet makes her foolishly trust Romeo and act on what she feels for him. Both fall victim to their hormones and make decisions based on…show more content…
Naturally, they look to their peers and parents for the guidance they need. Adriana Galvin states that “the increased level of Dopamine in teenagers means that teenagers have an increased reward sensitivity” (Galvin). Humans are more likely to repeat behaviors once they know they will receive a reward. Because teenagers have increased reward sensitivity, they are more likely to be influenced by peers. Negative responses from peers can result in depression and mood disorders; “one in five teens suffer from depression” (Smith). Romeo is depressed at the beginning of the play because of Rosaline’s rejection of him. He showed the general hopelessness, withdrawal, and lack of enthusiasm associated with depression. Romeo stays in his room moaning over Rosaline and does not hang out with his friends as much as he used to. Juliet and Romeo both experience crippling depression when they believe the other is dead. Each has suicidal thoughts and eventually commit suicide. Communication between family and professional help are essential in helping people with their depression. Neither Romeo and Juliet had sufficient parental figures for guidance nor could they seek professional help. Romeo’s parents did not keep track of him and let him roam the streets causing mischief with his friends. These friends were not aware of his romance with Juliet and ignored his abnormal behavior as him pining for Rosaline. The dictatorial style of
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