Beyond the Star-Crossed Lovers: A Modern Look at Juliet, Femininity, and Mortality

Author: Abigail Rose
Major: Literary Studies, Creative Writing
Approved: Spring 2017
Status: Completed

The story of Romeo and Juliet, a lynchpin of public education, unfolds in modern culture as a tragedy of perfect love. Those star-crossed lovers are often referenced as the ideal, and much of the other, darker, thematic subtexts in the play are ignored. My project will focus on analytically and creatively engaging with all aspects of the text. In the first part of the study, I will analyze the play and several critical texts, as well as modern media inspired by or based on it, in its full thematic reality. In the second part of my project, I will carry the story into the modern world by writing a novel aimed at young adult readers, where instead of following Romeo in death, Juliet lives and must deal with themes of violence, time, and mortality, her own identity, and her part in the continuing conflict between her family and her deceased lover’s.