Should We Choose Between Our Personal And Community’s Needs Essay Example
Choosing between our own needs and our community’s needs is a decision everyone has to make. We may not realize it, but even the smallest decisions can be a choice between ourselves and the people around us. When we were young we would hear our parents complain about where their tax dollars are going, insinuating that their money is more important than the needs of the community. However, the decision between individual needs and communal needs has been prominent way before we were even born. It goes all the way back to 16th century Shakespeare, who wrote about fulfillment in his play, Romeo and Juliet. However Kelly Asbury’s version, Gnomeo and Juliet, disagrees with Shakespeare’s view of fulfillment. While Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet claims that individual needs are more important than communal needs, Kelly Asbury’s version of Romeo and Juliet claims that the needs of the community should take precedence over the needs of the individual.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet opens with a fight scene in Verona, Italy between two families: the Capulets and Montagues. After the fight, the prince declares that anyone who fights again will be sentenced to death (I.I.93). The scene ends and cuts to a Montague named Romeo who is sad that a woman, Rosaline, does not love him back (I.I.172). To make him feel better, his cousin, Benvolio, and his friend, Mercutio propose that they go to a Capulet party. Romeo agrees to go knowing that Rosaline will be there (I.II.102). When they get to the party, Romeo meets Juliet, a capulet, who he quickly falls in love with. With the help of Juliet’s nurse and Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet get married secretly (II.VI.35). Soon after, Tybalt, a Capulet and Juliet’s cousin, fights Mercutio and ends up killing him (III.I.69). Angered by this, Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished as punishment (III.I.149). Meanwhile, Juliet’s parents arrange for her to be married to Paris, a relative of the prince (III.IV.10). When Juliet finds out about Romeo’s banishment and her upcoming marriage, Friar Lawrence and Juliet come up with a plan to fake Juliet’s death so that she and Romeo could be together (IV.I.78). Friar Lawrence writes a letter to Romeo explaining the plan but the letter never makes it to him (V.II.14). The heartbroken Romeo thinks that Juliet is actually dead and decides to kill himself also (V.I.36). He drinks poison in Juliet’s tomb, and when Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo is dead, she decides to kill herself as well (V.III.184). Once their community sees the harm that their feud has done, the feud is resolved (V.III.320).
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet argues that the spiritual needs of the individual are more important than the community’s needs. In Romeo and Juliet, love and hate are both spiritual needs of the characters. The main characters like Romeo, Juliet, and their families, all choose their spiritual needs over their community. In the case of love, Romeo and Juliet decide to get married even though it goes against the wishes of their community (II.VI.35). If their community had found out about their marriage, it would have enraged their community and disappointed their parents. Yet, they decided to get married anyway. When Juliet did not agree to marry Paris, her parents threatened to disown her (III.V.160). Even that amount of shame did not make Juliet reconsider her decision.
Juliet’s decision to go against the wishes of her parents, even with such an extreme punishment, shows her commitment to her own spiritual needs rather than her communities. At the end of the play when Romeo thinks Juliet is dead, he says, “Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight” (V.I.36). This implies that he would rather be dead with Juliet than marry another woman and succumb to the communities wishes. Romeo’s decision to kill himself shows his desire to fulfill his own spiritual needs instead of considering how his death would have affected his family. However, his family was also very determined to meet their own spiritual need for hate. The hate behind the feud controlled the families so much so that they did not care or did not even realize the harm that they were doing to the community. The prince agrees saying that, “By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, have thrice disturbed our streets [a]nd made Verona’s ancient citizens [c]ast by their grave beseeming ornaments [t]o wield old partisans in hands as old, [c]ankered with peace to part your cankered hate” (I.I.80).
Here the prince is accusing the Capulets and Montagues of disturbing the community because of their foolish hatred for each other. Their persistent hate, despite the consequences, shows how they prioritize their spiritual needs over the needs of their community. Overall, whether it’s love or hate, the spiritual needs of the individual outweigh the needs of the community in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The movie Gnomeo and Juliet is a cartoon about a feud between garden gnomes from two different gardens. While it follows a very similar plot, there are still a few differences. Gnomeo and his family live in the blue garden and Juliet and her family live in the red garden. The movie starts with Juliet going on a dangerous mission to get a flower for her family’s garden from a greenhouse far away. On her mission, she runs into Gnomeo. Since they both had to sneak out of their homes, they wore disguises and could not recognize that they were from opposing gardens. Regardless, when they do find out that they are from opposing gardens, they do not let it affect their relationship. In order to see each other, they meet secretly every day at an abandoned garden. In this abandoned garden they find a flamingo named Featherstone who encourages their love.
Towards the end of the movie, Tybalt cuts the top of Benny’s hat and as a result Gnomeo kills Tybalt. Angered by this, all of the garden gnomes chase Gnomeo onto the highway. Once Gnomeo is in danger of being smashed by passing cars, Juliet confesses her love for him in front of everyone. Immediately afterward, Gnomeo gets picked up by a truck and carried far away. His friends, Shroom and Benny, go on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him back home. Meanwhile, a few garden gnomes from the blue garden sneak into their owner’s house to order a lawn mower that will make them the superior garden. They do this to get revenge on the red garden for chasing Gnomeo out onto the highway. When Gnomeo returns to the garden, all of the garden gnomes are fighting and the garden is a complete disaster. Then he sees that the new lawn mower is heading toward Juliet, so he tries to save her. When he fails, they both get run over and crushed, however they do not end up breaking. Instead they survive and the feud is called off
Unlike Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Kelly Asbury’s version, Gnomeo and Juliet, argues that communal fulfillment is more important than individual fulfillment. This is seen from the very beginning of the movie when Juliet sneaks out of her home to retrieve a flower for her garden. Juliet knows that this is a very dangerous mission, however she is also aware of the fact that it would make her garden superior and make her family happy. As a result, Juliet decides to go get the flower from the greenhouse. Here Juliet is making the conscious decision to put herself in danger for the better of her community. This same idea is seen later in the movie when the blue garden gnomes sneak into their owner’s house to order a new lawn mower. They did this so that their garden would be superior the the red garden. However, in doing this, they risked getting caught by their owner. Again, they put themselves in danger in order to better their garden and their community. Lastly, when Romeo tried to save Juliet from the lawn mower, he put himself in danger in order to save Juliet. Although they did not end up dying or getting hurt, Romeo was putting Juliet before himself. Characters in Kelly Asbury’s Gnomeo and Juliet put their community’s needs before their own needs and it usually ends up being the more progressive choice.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet argued that individual needs are more important while Kelly Asbury’s Gnomeo and Juliet suggested that communal needs are more important. The difference, however is that Kelly Asbury’s version ended with a much happier overall outcome than Shakespeare’s version did. While it is true that we need to look out for ourselves, it remains true that we also need to look out for our communities. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” When the people in the community of Gnomeo and Juliet work together, they ended their feud with few casualties. When the people in the community of Romeo and Juliet put their own needs first, it ended in confusion, miscommunication, and more overall casualties. Often times it is beneficial to better our communities because there is always something in it for everyone. Yet while in fulfilling our own needs, whether it be love or hate, we could end up hurting others.