It Takes a Tragedy to End a Dispute

By Aidan Hauenstein '23

One piece of literature that taught me some valuable lessons is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. One thing Romeo and Juliet showed me is that holding grudges almost never turns out well. In the story, Romeo and Juliet’s families were feuding and forbade them from seeing each other. In the end, this feud led to the death of their children, making the story one of the best examples of why holding grudges only makes things worse. Knowing this is useful because it teaches me that even if someone wrongs me in a way, nothing is unforgivable, and it is more harmful to hold a grudge than to forgive the other person. Another thing I learned is that it takes a tragedy to end a dispute. After the death of Romeo and Juliet, both families drop the feud and come together over the loss of their children. It’s sad that death is what it takes to end conflict sometimes, but it is not exclusive to Romeo and Juliet as it is the case in the real world as well. To me, this is more of a realization than a lesson, per say, but it is still an important thing to point out because maybe instead of having a conflict go to that extreme, I can prevent a tragedy just by simply being open minded. The final lesson I learned from Romeo and Juliet is that sometimes love is more important than life itself. Juliet decided to kill herself when Romeo died because she couldn’t live without him. Not only does this happen in other stories, it also happens in real life. There are so many real-world cases where somebody ends their life because they can’t be with their loved one anymore. I learned that if you lose something you love dearly, you feel like dying. Romeo and Juliet takes that to the extreme, but the truth is that people lose their loved ones every day (especially in a time like this), and most keep going without them. What I picked up is that even if you feel like you can’t live without someone or something that’s been taken away from you, suicide is not the answer.