I have written fanfictions for a lot of fandoms. That even includes Shakespeare! Last year for school, I studied two Shakespeare plays, Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. For “R & J” (Romeo and Juliet), I was supposed to write a letter to Juliet as if I were her best friend giving her advice. That assignment created Livia. In Act 1, Scene 2 of the play, Romeo is asked to read a guest list by one of Capulet’s servants. He reads the list, “my fair niece Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio … ” I took this mention of a girl named Livia and turned her into Juliet’s best friend. I wrote three “Liv Letters” over the course of studying the play. This week, I’m posting letter 1. Enjoy!
April 15, 1592
News travels fast here in Verona. So you shouldn’t be surprised that I heard from your nurse (you how she likes to come here and chat with the servants) that you are planning to marry that Montague, Romeo! I was very shocked, especially when I heard that you only met last night. You were always rash, and I guess that hasn’t changed much! Juliet, you know that I want the best for you, and as your friend, I want you to think this through. From what I’ve heard and what I know, I think there are three things you need to think over before you marry him; first, Romeo has been “in love” two times in two days with two different girls, he is, after all, a Montague, and you really know nothing about him.
My first concern I want you to consider is that your Romeo has been “in love” two times with two different girls in two days. Knowing you, you’ll just deny it, but I heard from Benvolio (Romeo’s cousin, in case you didn’t know) himself that Romeo was in love with Rosaline, my sister! Do you know what Romeo said of her? Benvolio quoted Romeo, who was talking about Rosaline, “One fairer than my love? The all – seeing sun ne’er saw her match since the world begun.” Later that night, he’d forgotten all about Rosaline and was chasing after you! In fact, when he was visiting you, Benvolio and Mercutio thought he was with Rosaline. Juliet, Romeo may say he loves you, and maybe he does, but his love changes at a moment’s notice! He “loves” whatever girl suits him at the time. Think about this, and make sure he’s going to continue loving you no matter what “Rosaline” comes along!
My next objection may be rather obvious, but he’s a Montague! In case you have forgotten, he is the son of your sworn enemy! By marrying him, you’ll be giving up your name and defecting to the Montague side. Is your love “not Romeo, and a Montague?” Besides, marrying Romeo will complicate your family’s Christmas party! I know you’re laughing at me right now, but it’s true! Your family will never trust Romeo or you. Be careful and don’t take this decision lightly. Do you love your family or Romeo more?
The last point I’d like you to think about is that you really know nothing about Romeo. You only met last night! What do you know about him? You know he’s a Montague, he kisses nicely (yes, I heard about that, Juliet! I was at the party, remember?), and that he’s handsome. That’s not a lot to base a marriage on. You need to learn more about him than “you kiss by the book”! Take some time to get to know him before you run off and get married. If you find he’s a good man, gentle, and kind, then marry him.
My advice, Juliet, would be to wait. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but you’ll be better off if you do. Wait for a bit to see if you continue loving him after you’ve been apart. Wait to see if he will be able to wait for you, or if he starts chasing after some other girl. Just wait. Things may happen that won’t allow you two to be together. That being said, if you know he’ll be faithful, you can live without your family’s blessing, and you know him better, then marry him. I wish only the greatest happiness to you and Romeo, if you decide to get married. All I’m asking is don’t be so hasty and bring about unfortunate circumstances.
With all my love, your friend,
Thanks for reading!