We just saw our local production of this play, and while the message re violence still seemed quite relevant, I could not fall into the audience's role and accept Romeo's dialog. Juliet's seemed more realistic.
I do remember being in the state of mind where I could think of nothing but the woman I loved, and could not wait to see her again, but in the times away, I certainly did not become a babbling idiot, and neither did any of my young male contemporaries.
Still, as Susan points out, there were a lot of truly nauseating love songs written when we were young, and men wrote most of those. Another thing going on was the telephone, so we were apart, but in contact, sometimes for hours at a time. In Shakespeare's time apart was really apart, so maybe they were driven to such odious actions as speaking in verse, but I think alcohol and intense activity would be more likely forms of release.
My thought is that the pedestal is the root of the poetry and the change. In the class structure of Shakespeare, women were objects, and when of the proper class, placed on a very high pedestal, only to be addressed in a certain manner, which did allow for babbling idiots writing in verse. In my time in the 50's, women were still objects to some extent (admirable objects), and on a pedestal, though not as tall a one as in the past. There was the telephone allowing day to day contact, so proclaiming in poetry was almost gone, lingering remnants in the popular songs of the day.
Pat Boone's Why Baby Why lyrics
Why baby why don't you treat me (why, baby, why)
Like you used to do (why, baby, why)
Why, baby, baby don't you need me (why, baby, why)
Like I'm needin' you
If you need love and affection (why, baby, why)
Come to my lovin' arms (why, baby, why)
I'll be your shield and protection (why, baby, why)
I won't do ya no harm
There will be no trouble and strife
I'll be your slave the rest of my life
I offer you my heart and soul
Wrapped up in a bag of gold
Why, baby, why do you tease me (why, baby, why)
Won't you please be fair (why, baby, why)
Why, baby, why won't you please me (why, baby, why)
When ya know you care
From the sixties on the pedestal has been gone, with the great benefit that men and women can communicate as human beings, without unreal expectations.
I do, in my gut feel that men are more romantic than women due to purely Darwinian causes. Physical vulnerability requires more thinking to have one's genes survive, than does just planting them in many places. Romantic polemic might improve the success rate. As to why you no longer see it? Well, rap may be chauvinistic and sexist, but it is poetry.
When the police come yo she ready for whatever
Never talk to the cops cus she got her mind together
A down to earth mother earth living at the speed of life
she don't need a ring to be my wife
a truly independent woman, not a destiny's child
not depending on money or fashion to have style
she got nuff style - rough style - diamond in the ruff
not a dimepiece in the back, she a diamond in the front
... seat by my side ready to ride
An aside, we've been getting some unattributed taking of blog content so inserting © 2009 backpack45.com