It is a common trope that high schoolers and perhaps many more people view Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as overdone and somewhat cheesy and shallow, for lack of better words. Would it have been viewed this way in Shakespeare's own day?

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    For the purpose of clarification: do you want to know how Shakespeare's contemporaries actually reacted (assuming that such information is available) or how they would have reacted (assuming that no such information is available, which makes the question rather speculative)? – Tsundoku Mar 5 '19 at 15:22
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    This makes me think of the line "Romeo and Juliet isn't a love story to aspire to; they were teenagers, it lasted three days, and six people died!" – Skooba Mar 5 '19 at 15:32
  • I didn't know that was a "common trope". I can understand that modern high schoolers might find a play about the reconciliation of two feuding families difficult to "relate" to, but I don't know what "overdone" or "cheesy and shallow" is supposed to mean here. – user14111 Mar 5 '19 at 21:13

Shakespeare himself seems to have made fun of Romeo and Juliet in A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which a theatrical troupe called the Rude Mechanicals stage a play called The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby

  • What's the connection between Pyramus and Thisbe (which is a real play) and Romeo and Juliet? – Rand al'Thor Apr 9 '19 at 5:06
  • As the Wikipedia entry you linked to says, "The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet ultimately sprang" from it. But (I could be wrong) in referring to it as a "lamentable comedy," I understand Shakespeare to be acknowledging that Romeo and Juliet was itself a bit overblown. – Literalman Apr 9 '19 at 20:54

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