The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare's worst play

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2009 Category: Arts
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,954 times Debate No: 6725
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Speaking for the pro side of this argument I will first outline the terms and then move on to my first constructive argument.

William Shakespeare = 1564–1616 English dramatist & poet

Worst = least skillful or efficient

Play = the stage representation of an action or story

All definitions from Merriam-Webster online dictionary

I'd like to first leave the nature of this debate up to the con side because there are many ways you could go about defending Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and I feel that all could be made an interesting argument.

One constructive point that I would like to bring forth to the table is that of subject matter. Many schools read this play and I'm sure everyone can agree that literature can take deep effects with people especially adolescent school children. The play Romeo and Juliet is a love story. I agree with that statement, but what is the "most romantic" love based on? Physical attraction. Romeo and Juliet meet each other at a party and Romeo immediately forgets the woman whom he loves (who has indeed taken a vow of chastity, something many would find to be an admirable decision) and asks Juliet to marry him. This happens the DAY later. What sort of message is that sending to children? Of course, nobody can argue the talent William Shakespeare possessed and the story is written beautifully, but there are so many other wonderful Shakespeare plays that would be a more suitable choice to expose classes to. This is why I believe that Romeo and Juliet was Shakespeare's worst play.


You error in the supposition that I need defend Romeo and Juliet, I do not. I simply need prove the resolution true by virtue of pointing out what an utter pile of dog feces that Titus Andronicus exudes by it's very aura.

Sure, trite love story, passes itself off as a comedy until it winds up a tragedy and never a story of more woe. However, as many people know the play and understand it's merits, I can simply let it stand on it's own. Two Gentlemen of Verona is pretty much poo too. I've always thought the taming of the shrew was utterly sexist and stupid whereas the Merchant of Venice is blatantly antisemitic. I need only show that there is some play X by Shakespeare which is worse than Romeo and Juliet. I might as well fling the utter dreary and pointless boredom of Titus.
Debate Round No. 1


Well, it's all fine and dandy that you can find some way to get around the topic by taking the easy way out, but I in fact, will graciously accept your points.

First of all, I thank you for your attempt to show me that there is a worse play than Romeo and Juliet by posting videos of Titus Andronicus(which I am already familiar with) but the fact that, yes, the cooking show setting is horrific, yet entertaining, does not mean that the original play by Shakespeare is as difficult to watch. Maybe next time post videos of Shakespeare's actual work rather than the work of modern day comedians. I don't feel I have to defend Titus Andronicus because the fact is, it does not touch on any themes that I feel are bad or offensive. Sure, they kill everyone, but in essence, don't we do the same? Don't we all kill to get to the top only to find ourselves killed by another hungry social climber? This is a theme that is present in Titus Andronicus and does not offend me but rather leads me to see the similarities between that and real life. Now you may be thinking, "Well, people are physically attracted to people," well yes, this may be true but do we want to promote marrying someone after only several hours of knowing each other? Of course not, it is offensive and something that I find is not something we like to believe we do. We also do not want to promote killing to get to the top, but I feel that Titus Andronicus outlines the problems with this matter rather than having it solve a long standing problem as the suicide of lovers did in Romeo and Juliet.

Also, go ahead and think that there are themes that are anti semetic, but I am good an tired of going along with your points when you clearly didn't pay attention to the definitions I brought forth at the beginning. Worst meant leas skillfull or efficient. I believe that the Merchant of Venice has a much more creative plot and again, is something that we do not take seriously because if people are going to be anti semetic it is frowned upon in society.

I now eagerly await the points and rebuilding of my opponents case.


I'm so sorry that some comedians made Titus mildly entertaining. We should have watched the same basic plot without a lick of humor, because that's the plot. It's dreadful and boring. The premise that Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare's worst play is easily negated by citing that utter pig slop on paper. In fact, I don't even have to establish that Romeo and Juliet is a bad play just that there is some play which is worse.

To prove that it isn't the worst play, it would not suffice to establish that Romeo and Juliet is good. The play could be good and simply all the other plays were better. I can only win by pointing out that there are worse plays (Which is where Titus comes in). However, so that people do not try to fault me for technicality (even though clearly it's not a technicality that Titus sucks), I'll point out that your objections are unfounded and that the work itself is fantastic.

The love is not based on simply physical attraction but on the notion of love at first sight. It is an integral part of the play that Romeo and Juliet are impetuous. Though Juliet demands that Romeo marry her if he's intentions are honorable and they get married in secret due to their family strife. If only sexual attraction were on the line then Romeo should not have hesitated to fight Tybalt. Rather he could not on his honor because he knew that they were family. Certainly Romeo is a bit of a Romeo and falling in love quickly and out again as his friends tease him for so doing, and falling in love with somebody who has sworn to be chaise is about as bad as falling in love with somebody who is your sworn enemy.

You make it seem that this impetuous nature is a detractor from the story. Rather, this is the story. They fall in love so quickly, and love so deeply, and are so tragically pulled apart that makes the story so woeful. If only they knew they were sworn enemies. If only Juliet had been more coy. If only they had not married. If only Romeo could tell Tybalt that they are now family. If only Mercutio wasn't killed. If only Romeo didn't act so hasty and kill Tybalt. If only Romeo weren't exiled. If only he had gotten the letter. If only he had waited a short time. If only Juliet weren't to marry Paris. If only the Capulets and Montesquieus weren't enemies! If only they weren't two impetuous little kids!

The entire point is that there's was a true love, a reckless love, a love so bright that it burned itself out and ruined the lives of what could have been. Stupid kids and puppy love, killing themselves for nothing, they fall so fast, so quick, and in the end so cold in love.


Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Debate Round No. 2


flynn09 forfeited this round.


Wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Do you feel like Napoleon? ;-)
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
I win. After voting for myself. How fun.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Young enough to be that silly.

~13 works out fine.
Posted by flynn09 8 years ago
I believe it was 16 and 13. It says in the play that Juliet was not yet 14.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
16 and 14 I'd always heard. What is your source Brian?
I'd have to say Titus Andronicus would have to be the one I'd least like to watch.
Certainly it isn't played very often.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
Great idea for a debate and wonderful opening argument, Flynn. I hope you find a worthy opponent.

By the way, did anybody else realise that Romeo was a paedophile? It is reckoned that he was 19 and Juliet was just 12!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
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