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Love Conquers All Odds

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Love Conquers All Odds

People often say that love conquers all and that it stands against all odds. This is particularly true in the stories portrayed in the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare and in the novel “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks. The play “Romeo and Juliet” is a tragic story of two “star-crossed lovers” (Shakespeare, 893) Romeo and Juliet who come from two “feuding noble families” (Spark Notes, 2008) of the Montague and the Capulet. Romeo Montague is “a young man of about sixteen”, “handsome, intelligent and sensitive” (Spark Notes, 2008).

Juliet Capulet is a girl of thirteen years who is innocent about love but “grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo” (Spark Notes, 2008).

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While the novel “A Walk to Remember” is a love story of two young people Landon and Jamie who come from families with different social statuses. Landon Carter is a seventeen-year-old man who is “the richest, most popular boy at Beaufort High” (123 Help Me, 2008) and “whose father is a United States congressman” (Kalkay, 1996).

Jamie Sullivan is a “poor and unpopular and almost nonexistent at school”, “bible-bearing girl” (123 Help Me, 2008) who is the “daughter of a Baptist minister” and “who is dying of cancer” (Clapsaddle, 2005).

The play “Romeo and Juliet” is more similar to the novel “A Walk to Remember” than it is different. They share similarities in terms of the recurring themes, the mood, the conflict, the literary device of foreshadowing and the traits of the main characters but they are different in the characters.

“Romeo and Juliet” and “A Walk to Remember” illustrate similar recurring themes such as the power of love, the significance of time and the intervention of destiny, fate, or “God’s plan”. In “Romeo and Juliet”, love has changed Juliet from “a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage” (Spark Notes, 2008) to someone who will sacrifice herself for the sake of love. The passionate love of Juliet drives her to say “O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, From off the battlements of yonder tower” (Shakespeare, 914). Time also plays a significant role in the story. It is time which aids “in the destruction of the lovers” (Mabillard, 2000). This happens when “Capulet rushes ahead of the marriage date, insisting Juliet wed Paris a day early, and thus forcing her into swift and ultimately, fatal action” (Mabillard, 2000) and that is to drink the potion to make her appear as if she were dead.

In the play, the hand of destiny or fate is seen to manifest. Similarly, in the novel “A Walk to Remember” love has a powerful influence on Landon because it leads “him irrevocably on the road to manhood” (123 Help Me, 2008). The novel also depicts how time affects people and things as it is shown in Jamie’s sickness. Since Jamie is expecting that she has little time left on earth because of leukemia, she tries to do everything that she can do. This includes making her father’s play become a success, helping the children in the orphanage and if possible, getting married. The story also shows that the “twist of fate threw them (Landon and Jamie) together when he found himself without a partner for the school dance” (Fantastic Fiction, 2008).

Both stories “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Walk to Remember” have the same mood, that is – “it is tragic, filled with despair, and very sad; at other times, it is uplifting and hopeful” (Clapsaddle, 2005). In “Romeo and Juliet”,a watchman says “Pitiful sight! Here lies the County slain; – And Juliet bleeding; warm and newly dead” (Shakespeare, 920) In “A Walk to Remember”, Landon says “Jamie Sullivan had leukemia […] Jamie, sweet Jamie, was dying […] My Jamie […] ‘No, no,’ I whispered to her, ‘there has to be some mistake” (Sparks, 192).

Likewise, the two stories involve similar conflicts in the family of lovers. In “Romeo and Juliet”, the family of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are not in good terms with each other which leads to brawls involving family members. Such a situation happened when Benvolio, a kinsman to Montague and Tybalt, a kinsman to Capulet and the servants with them draw their swords and engage in a brawl in Act 1 Scene 1 of the play.

Moreover, the two stories both use the literary device of foreshadowing. In “Romeo and Juliet”, the audience, as well as readers, would expect the date of the lovers, Romeo and Juliet because they have already made a hint as they say “Do with their death bury their parents’ strife. The fearful passage of their death marked love,” (Shakespeare, 893). This literary device can also be seen when Friar Lawrence says “Within the infant rind of this small flower Poison hath residence, and medicine power: For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part; Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.” (Shakespeare, 903). These lines foreshadow that the poison would have something to do with the death of the lovers. “The sleeping potion he (Friar Lawrence) gives Juliet is concocted to cause the appearance of death, not death itself, but through the circumstances beyond the Friar’s control, the potion does bring about a fatal result: Romeo’s suicide.” (Spark Notes, 2008).

Furthermore, in the two stories, it can be interpreted that the main characters have the same idealism, passion and seriousness in their love for each other. Romeo, like Landon, is serious in pursuing his love for Juliet even to the point of taking poison because he thought that Juliet is already dead and it would be better for him to also die. Juliet is similar to Jamie in her being idealistic and passionate about the love she has for Romeo. She is willing to give up her life for the one she loves. Correspondingly, Landon, like Romeo is serious in his love for Jamie. And Jamie is idealistic in her views of love.

On the other hand, the play and the novel despite their many similarities also have so many differences in terms of the characters and the circumstances in the stories. The stories differ in:

  1. the manner that the male leading character falls for the female leading character;
  2. the character traits of the main characters;
  3. the social status of the main characters;
  4. the time when the lovers kiss;
  5. the freedom of the lovers to pursue their relationship;
  6. the presence or absence of friends;
  7. effect of love on the lovers;
  8. the people or institutions against the relationship of the lovers;
  9. the control of the lovers’ parents;
  10. the reason for the main characters’ family feuds;
  11. the manner of death in the story;
  12. the reconciliation of the male leading character’s parents to the female leading character’s parents.

In “Romeo and Juliet”, Romeo falls in love with Juliet quickly. He has become interested in her even at first sight. The story shows that Romeo is “intelligent and sensitive” and “has extreme behavior”. It also presents Juliet as someone who is not yet mature. When she was asked by her mother “How stands your disposition to be married?” and Juliet answers “It is an honor that I dream not of” (Shakespeare, 897) speaks of her childishness and immaturity. Both he and Juliet are characterized as impulsive, acting right away based on their emotions just like their decision to get married which is only a day after they first met. Juliet comes from “an aristocratic family” thus, “she does not have freedom” to go out of their house. Juliet, at first, does not think about love and marriage. The lovers kiss right after they felt they are attracted to each other even without knowing each other’s name.

Fortunately, Romeo and Juliet have a common friend in the person of Friar Lawrence who advises them and corroborates plans with them. They are not at all free to publicly show their love and their relationship so they got married in secret. Juliet dies by stabbing herself after seeing Romeo dead because of drinking poison. They “are driven to defy their entire world: families, friends” (Spark Notes, 2008). They struggle against the “public and social institutions that either explicitly or implicitly oppose the existence of their love” (Spark Notes, 2008). Juliet’s father decides that Juliet should be married to Count Paris. The reason for the hatred between the families of Montague and Capulet is not at all explained. Juliet and Romeo’s families were only reconciled after their death. The story portrays the “chaos and passion of being in love” (Spark Notes, 2008).

On the contrary, in “A Walk to Remember”, Landon falls in love with Jamie gradually. It took more time for him to realize the goodness of Jamie that makes him fall in love with her. Two weeks after Landon dates Jamie in the homecoming dance, he does not communicate with her until Jamie calls him and talks to him about taking the role of Tom Thornton in the play “A Christmas Angel” for their Drama class. The story also shows that Landon is not so intelligent and is not sensitive to the feelings of others. As a child, together with his playmates, he would play franks at Hegbert Sullivan. But, he is not into “extreme behavior”. Jamie is from a poor family but she has the freedom to do what she thinks is best for her. Right from the start of her interactions with Landon, she expresses her wish of getting married. Jamie and Landon do not have common friends.

In fact, Landon’s friend, Eric Hunter teases Landon about his having a date with the most unlikely girl he would ever date who is Jamie. Nonetheless, they are not constrained in their love relationship because Jamie’s father does not exert parental influence, unlike Juliet’s father. Although at first, Jamie’s father was protective of her daughter because he doesn’t want Landon to hurt her. But he later accepts the fact that Jamie loves Landon and that Landon loves Jamie and he allows them to have a relationship. Jamie, possibly, dies of leukemia. But this one is not really sure because it all depends on the readers. As for the writer’s opinion of this essay, Jamie dies of leukemia but it will be after she and Landon have spent considerable years together. They are not constrained so Landon openly asks for Jamie’s hand in marriage and they are wed with the knowledge of everyone in the town. They have the support of their family in their relationship.

Other institutions such as the church and the community are also supportive. The reason for the dislike of Hegbert Sullivan, Jamie’s father towards the father of Landon is explained. It is because of Landon’s grandfather with whom Hegbert has worked for once and because of the grandfather’s evil scheming acts that he left from his service. Their individual families found it easy to forgive particularly in the part of Hegbert who does not hinder the relationship of Landon and Jamie. The story portrays how love can have such a positive impact on the life of the lovers involved.

In conclusion, the play “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Walk to Remember” depict similar themes on the power of love, the significance of time and the intervention of fate or destiny. Both stories have sad endings because of the death of one or two of the lovers. They both involve a conflict of families, use foreshadowing in storytelling and the main characters Romeo and Landon and Juliet and Jamie have a few similar characteristics in terms of being idealistic, passionate and serious in their love for another person. However, the two stories are not similar because of:

  1. the manner that the male leading character falls for the female leading character;
  2. the character traits of the main characters;
  3. the social status of the main characters;
  4. the time when the lovers kiss;
  5. the freedom of the lovers to pursue their relationship;
  6. the presence or absence of friends;
  7. effect of love on the lovers;
  8. the people or institutions against the relationship of the lovers;
  9. the control of the lovers’ parents;
  10. the reason for the main characters’ family feuds;
  11. the manner of death in the story;
  12. the reconciliation of the male leading character’s parents to the female leading character’s parents.

These are the reasons why the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare and the novel “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks are very similar yet very unlike each other.

Works Cited

  1. “A Walk to Remember.” Fantastic Fiction. 13 June 2008. <http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/nicholas-sparks/walk-to-remember.htm.>
  2. “A Walk to Remember – The Human Heart.” 123 Help Me. 10 June 2008.
  3. <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=2699>.
  4. Clapsaddle, Diane. “A Walk to Remember: The Best Notes Study Guide.” The Best Notes. 2005. 13 June 2008. <http://www.thebestnotes.com/booknotes/A Walk To Remember_Sparks/A_Walk_To_Remember_Study_Guide01.html>
  5. Kalkay, Eva. “A Walk to Remember.” Book Reporter. 1996-2008. 11 June 2008. <http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews/0446608955.asp>
  6. Mabillard, Amanda. “An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare Online. 18 Sept. 2000. 11 June 2008. <http://www.shakespeare-online.com/playanalysis/romeocommentary.html >.
  7. “Romeo and Juliet.” Spark Notes. 2008. 11 June 2008. <http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/>
  8. “Romeo and Juliet (play).” Microsoft® Student 2008 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2007.
  9. Shakespeare, William. “Romeo and Juliet.” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Czechoslovakia: Hamlyn, 1931, 893-921.
  10. Sparks, Nicholas. “A Walk to Remember.” USA: Warner Books, 1999.

Cite this Love Conquers All Odds

Love Conquers All Odds. (2016, Oct 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/love-conquers-all-odds/

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