Love is the strongest and most influential emotion because it causes people to make decisions that could potentially be life threatening that they otherwise would not make. Although understanding what’s going on to create emotions can be complex its vital for analyzing Romeo and Juliet. The reason for this is because one needs to understand the reasoning for many behaviors of Romeo and Juliet and looking at what’s going on in the brain is a good way of going about it. Although many of Romeo and Juliet’s actions seem unreasonable there is ways to justify and reason with them.
In ‘Romeo and Juliet’ there are many examples of how strong love really is. “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger, This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die” (Shakespeare). This is a quote from the last scene in Romeo and Juliet. What happened is Juliet had taken a mixture of some sorts that makes it seem as if she’s dead, but in reality, she’s just asleep and will wake up. The reason they did this was to sneak Juliet out because Romeo had committed a crime and was no longer allowed in the city. See they had only meet three days ago yet, the thought of losing something they both loved, this new unexplainable love, was too overbearing so in term Juliet faked death to leave even if it meant losing everything else, she had. But when Romeo had come, he had never received word on the plan and believed she was dead. And in turn took a poison which had killed him literally minutes before Juliet’s awakening. When Juliet saw this after waking up, she took death into her own hands and stabbed herself with a dagger beside Romeo. Because she didn’t want to continue to live without Romeo. Also, her dad was planning on making her marry Paris, another character in Romeo and Juliet who had the desire to marry Juliet. But she had already secretly already married Romeo and did not wish to marry Paris. This is a harsh and a little bit dramatic example of how love can toil with the mind, and how important it is to the mind and body to feel love.
One thing that must be considered though is that Romeo and Juliet were still teenagers. Which means that their brain and frontal cortex, a part of the brain that aids reasoning and planning, was not fully developed yet. This causes teenagers to make irrational decisions without thinking them through. This is one part of reasoning Romeo and Juliet’s behaviors throughout the play. Although not everything and a lot of the extremes of the play are very imaginative and a little bit exaggerative some things can be put into more realistic context. Especially since teenagers haven’t dealt with emotions and feelings as much as adults. With the new edition of: just learning about the consequences of your actions in the real world, how to properly deal with emotions, what to do in different situations, reasoning not completely being there, and emotions being extreme do to hormones it’s easy to see why many teenagers make irrational decisions when it comes to love. Not only that but even adults struggle when it comes to love and dealing with romantic relationships and the situations that come along with love. So, when one adds all the other things that are going on in the brain its quite easy to see how dealing with and expressing one’s feelings can be hard. “Teenagers are impatient because developing brain connections make it difficult for them to see the benefits of waiting longer for a larger reward. There are numerous studies showing impulsivity in adolescents and this often results in them partaking in high-risk behavior” (Osborne). This statement shows that adolescents and teens do not into the future when they are making decisions instead, they think about what the benefits are now and deal with the consequences later, even if those consequences mean death.
One big factor in all of this is what is going on in the mind and body. The limbic system and nervous system are the parts that are primarily responsible for these emotions. A quick trip to an article called ‘The Emotional Nervous System’ by Dr. C. Boeree on the Internet can greatly help in understating what’s going on, which is where most of the next information about the limbic system. “The limbic system is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus, just under the cerebrum. It includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and several other nearby areas. It appears to be primarily responsible for our entire emotional life and has a lot to do with the formation of memories” (Dr. Boeree). But names of parts don’t really seem to help which is why the research must be taken deeper. “The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain located just below thalamus on both sides of the third ventricle (the ventricles are areas within the cerebrum that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid and connect to the fluid in the spine.) It sits just inside the two tracts of the optic nerve, and just above (and intimately connected with) the pituitary gland” (Dr. Boeree). This is one of the busiest parts of the brain and is responsible mostly for homeostasis. and is responsible mostly for homeostasis. Homeostasis is the process of keeping and returning something to its default and set point. With this the hypothalamus regulates your hanger, thirst, levels of pleasure, the way you respond to pain, sexual satisfaction, anger and aggressive behavior and much more. It also regulates how the autonomic nervous system functions, which means it is responsible for how things like pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and arousal in emotional circumstances function. It also receives information from many parts of the body. The vague nerve gives information about distention of the gut (how full you are), and blood pressure. The reticular formation in the brain system provides information about skin temperature, whilst the optic nerve shows information on light and darkness. Unusual neurons lining the ventricles gives information on the contents in the cerebrospinal fluid, even including toxins that cause vomiting. And from the olfactory (smell) nerves, it gets information that helps with the regulation of eating and sexuality. The hypothalamus also has its own receptors that provide information on blood temperature and ion balance. But without memory none of this is important as memory is vital in any important relationship.
The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for building, storing, and taking things from short-term memory and transforming them into long-term memory. This part of the brain is sensitive and fragile, yet vital for the human brain. If this part of the brain were to get damaged the person would no longer be able to create new memories. And the person would be living in a world where everything they’ve experienced slowly fades away even memories that were untouched before the damage. This part of the brain is vital because one most remember and have memories with a person to develop a relationship with anyone and to grow together as one.
Now one might say that anger is a very high impact emotion as well. Also, that anger causes irrational decisions and is an intense emotion. The difference with this is there are certain things that can inflict these emotions and can be prevented in many situations, where as love is an emotion that is not chosen, also a person isn’t looking to come back and defend themselves. Also, with anger many times people are to be less vulnerable where love is just the opposite, love requires a lot of vulnerability to gain trust. Also, if a person is angry at a person, they love one can notice that it doesn’t last as the love and relationship already developed out ways the anger. Also, love is lasting and ever growing, where as anger declines and dose not continue to grow rather then put weight on a person’s shoulders and stress them out where love eases that pain.
Some of Romeo and Juliet’s actions can be justified when one investigates what’s really going even though many are unreasonable. Even though understanding what’s really going on with emotions in the brain is complex its vital for analyzing and understanding Romeo and Juliet. And the previous explanations show why love is the strongest and most influential emotion because the outcomes can cause irrational and life-threatening decisions. And the previous explanations show why love is the strongest and most influential emotion because the outcomes can cause irrational and life-threatening decisions.