What are we so afraid of?
Why would we want to dismiss Romeo and Juliet or those who claim to be like them?
We talk excitedly about meeting someone and how we “click” or “really hit it off” – how we feel intimately acquainted even though we’ve only just met. This is our way of believing in low-grade love at first sight, while still scorning its full-blown form.
Imagine if we did what Romeo and Juliet do. They show the signs that we tend to regard as hallmarks of “mature” love – profound passion, intimacy and commitment – right away. For Shakespeare, if you have this, you have love, whether it takes six months or six minutes.
It’s easy to say that people don’t love each other when they first meet because they don’t know each other and haven’t had a chance to form a true attachment. Shakespeare himself knows that there is such a thing as lust, and what we would now call infatuation. He’s no fool.
Still, he reminds us – as forcefully as we ever will be reminded – that some people, right away, do know each other deeply. Love gives them insight into each other. Love makes them pledge themselves to each other. Love makes them inventive. Yes, it also makes them ridiculous.
But that’s just another of love’s glories. It makes being ridiculous permissible.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/should-we-scoff-atthe-idea-of-love-at-first-sight-102094