“Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, thanks to the brilliant imagination of our beloved William Shakespeare, hold the title of most famous lovers. A family feud marked by hate and violence is never an ideal environment for budding romance, but when you add in the dynamics of a flawed marriage plan, tragedy is inevitable.
The first time I read the play, I was appalled by the scheme to bring the young couple together. Juliet swallowing a potion that would feign death, without Romeo’s knowledge, set the stage for the unthinkable to happen. Obviously, no one had given much thought to the possible consequences. But then, love is unpredictable, even with the wisest plan.
Perhaps this is the greatest takeaway, the parting gift from Romeo and Juliet to all lovers. The best way to avoid problems and face the unpredictable, goes back to keeping the lines of communication operating efficiently.
Happy Valentine’s Day!