"If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, did ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss?"

aka blorbo from my plays

Who is Romeo Montague?

Romeo Montague is one of the titular characters from William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It's like insanely famous so I'd be surprised if you haven't read it for school or something but if you havent: you should!!! It's a little overhyped but honestly its really good and so mushy gushy romantic you won't regret it.

Why so passionate about Romeo??

Romeo is honestly such a good character, but he gets SO mischaracterized and honestly it hurts me to see my boy so misunderstood. SO this shrine is where I am going to dispel some misconceptions about my silly rabbit.

Misconceptions about Romeo

I believe that all depictions of Romeo that go wrong are because of these two main mischaracterizations of him, which I have dubbed the ROMEO SINS:

Sin #1: Romeo is a fuckboy.

  • WRONG!! The main argument for this point is that he starts the play infatuated with another woman: Juliet's cousin, Rosaline. However, once he meets Juliet he quickly forgets Rosaline in favor of his new love. While it is true that Romeo does kind of ditch his love for Rosalind very quickly, there are 2 things of note here: 1) Romeo is a TEENAGER and teenagers are like that, and 2) ROSALINE DOESN'T LIKE HIM BACK. This is a detail that is so often forgotten to paint Rosaline as Romeo's forgotten lover who he one-night-standed to frame him like an asshole serial romantic, when in actuality is crush on Rosaline is just that: a crush, and he doesn't abandon her for Juliet because he never had a chance with her in the first place.

and Sin #2: Romeo is stupid.

  • This is such a big gripe for me, because a lot of the more feminist retellings of R&J that highlight Juliet (and Rosaline) tend to paint Romeo as a bumbling idiot asshole (this category broadly overlaps with the fuckboy category). This always just makes me sad: it gives me the impression that men can't be portrayed as romantic without also being stupid. Boys should have the right to be be hopeless romantics and still be respected as characters and have their love treated with respect :( Also, once again this overlaps with age: Romeo is a TEENAGER and believing him to be stupid because he doesn't make mature decisions is in bad faith of his character. Of course Romeo isn't going to act like a reasonable smart adult, he isn't one!!

bonus points that I'm not scoring on but I want to talk about anyway:

  • The age thing. Let's admit the elephant in the room when it comes to R&J: Juliet is 13, and while Romeo's age is never stated it is generally accepted to be 16. Look, I get wanting them to be older. It is uncomfortable, even though the cultural norms at the time saw those ages to be more... mature than now and they were both considered to be in the same age demographic, so it's not as horrific in context as it appears, but yeah. Still, I believe their ages are extremely significant to the message of the play: the big debate I always hear around R&J is if it is "true love", but I do not believe that that is the point. The point is that these two people are so innocent that their love is strong enough to break down barriers of hatred built by people older and "wiser" than them. I feel like aging them up, at least out of their teens (I forgive aging them up within the teen range especially for modern day), recharacterizes their relationship and detracts from the point.
  • I also want to briefly mention the "anti-Capulet" representation of Romeo that some adaptations choose to take. Something that I feel like a few people miss is that Romeo (and Juliet) don't really share their parents' ideologies. They are bummed when they find out each other's identites because that means they can't publically be together, not because they also believe in the family rivalry. I'm not that much of a hater of instances where adaptations choose to make R&J hate each other at first because it amplifies conflict, but I think it bears meantioning.

It is a combo of these things that makes a bad Romeo, and is the reason I see him getting so much hate that I truly believe he doesn't deserve. I will not take the Romeo slander ANY LONGER! He is my silly rabbit and a good boy who follows his heart over his head but we love him for it. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

romeo adaptation ratings

& Juliet: the Musical

rating: 6/10

This Romeo is unfortunately the pinnacle of the 2 Romeo Sins in action: he is lowkey villainized in this show despite doing nothing wrong except having previous girlfriends before Juliet? He is also treated like an idiot. He does net a higher score than he deserves though, because Jordal Luke Gage is just so charming, the music is wonderful, and his jacket slays.

Romeo + Juliet

rating: 10/10

I ADORE this movie. It's such a good adaptation, and the style is impeccable. My only gripe is that they cut down Paris's role so much (sorry Paul Rudd).

Gnomeo and Juliet

rating: 8/10

It's a silly goofy kids movie that I like. One of the rare instances of an anti-Capulet Romeo. Also how old is this man.


rating: 0/10

NO!!! I HATE THIS MAN!!!! The whole movie is about how Romeo cheats on Rosaline (see above) and is a shallow douchebag. NO THANKS.

Warm Bodies

rating: 10/10

I love this movie! It's such a fun take on the story, and it really gets the lovesick Romeo right while still acknowledging that he does make some dodgy decisions. It's just fun and funny, I love adaptations that play with the premise.

West Side Story

rating: 7/10

I'm a theatre kid, I'll admit it. West Side Story has never really been my favorite but I do like it a lot. It's one of the adaptations that actually gets the "two houses alike in diginty" correct. Tony is not my favorite character by far but he's an alright Romeo.

First Kill

rating: 7/10

LESBIAN ROMEO LESBIAN ROMEO!!!!! Dear Netflix I'll kill you for cancelling this show. Also instance of an anti-Capulet Romeo.