Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare seems to be teaching through this Tragedy the value of Christian Morality.
The other day I was watching a Shakespearean play called Much Ado About Nothing. Someone asked me if I was one of those types of people that watch Shakespeare! I laughed and told him that I have been teaching Romeo and Juliet for 7 years!
Of course, I was young and I was brought up in a protective Christian environment and I didn't realize that life could be very hard filled with violence, longterm hate, suicide and all forms of premature death. I thought Shakespeare was very un-Christian; especially, as my teachers were not very Christian.
1) They fall in love with each. The believe in love between a man and a woman.
2) They believe that God wants a man and a woman to committ to each other in a longterm committed marriage.
3) They believe they should marry before they have sexual relations.
4) After they are married they believe they should have sexual relations that may (with hope) produce children as many as God wants you to have.
5) Romeo knew He must forgive Tybalt and not fight with his relative (or anyone for that matter.
6) Romeo knew He was wrong for killing his relative (or anyone for that matter)!
7) Romeo wondered if he and Juliet were damned to Hell for their actions!
Scholars also see morality in Shakespeare's Plays:
Well, first of all, and contrary to the opinion of some scholars, Shakespeare is profoundly moral. His plays, especially the tragedies, deal with the deepest moral themes and issues. Serious consideration of any of his plays forces one to think in ethical terms.
Usually in Shakespeare's dramas a person's movement into tragedy is signaled by his neglecting or avoiding of divine grace.
I will write in the future more about Shakespeare's plays and how they point us to God for Grace and Joy!
Pastor Ken Harley :-)