So on my way to work this morning I’m listening to an audiobook in my car all about motivation, will power and stuff like that – how the brain works kind of stuff. And in a chapter about how you can’t tell your brain “Stop thinking about X” I get to this:
This might explain what psychologists know as the well-known “Romeo and Juliet” effect, where love for another person only becomes stronger when it is forbidden.(*)
Ummm……huh? I’m trying to decide if that’s psychobabble for “We are saying this *about* the characters of Romeo and Juliet”, in other words they fell that deeply in love precisely because they could not be together … or else if this is just a modern acknowledgment of a modern idea, and they’ve simply slapped a cliche onto it.
What do you think? Am I reading too much into it, in the hopes of pulling a blog post out of it? Or do you think that Romeo liked that girl at the party, and when he learned that she was a Capulet, only then did he think “I can’t live without her!”
Somehow I don’t think the text supports that. Granted, I think that every 13yr old who thinks she is in love with the gangsta down the street and whose parents say she can’t see him anymore? So she climbs out her bedroom window to go hang out with him? That, I think, is the Romeo and Juliet effect. And that’s not at all what Shakespeare was talking about.
(*) From memory, of course, so nobody pick on the book for any lapses in grammar – that’s my fault.