Does love get better with age?

Dr. Jessica Riddell

Romeo and Juliet are often held up as the romantic ideal, willing to risk it all for their one great love. But if Shakespeare really agreed that this is what true love looks like, why are so many of his favourite couples distinctly... middle-aged?

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We're so used to Romeo and Juliet being held up as the romantic ideal - willing to risk it all and die for their one great love. But if Shakespeare really agreed that this is what true love looks like, why are so many of his favourite couples distinctly... middle-aged?

We have absorbed the tragic tale of star-crossed lovers into our common consciousness, and see it play out again and again in literature and film through the ages, from Wuthering Heights to Titanic. Shakespeare's most-performed play is another tale of young lovers: A Midsummer Night's Dream. But The Bard himself was not as enamoured with the first flush of love as the rest of the world seems to be, and never resists the opportunity to mercilessly mock the young and silly for their folly and their fickleness. So what does he think the romantic ideal looks like?

One of our favourite Garden Fellows, Dr. Jessica Riddell, is back in The Garden to help uncover which Shakespearean pairings tell us the most about love, and what we can learn from them.

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Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

Dr. Jessica Riddell

Jessica believes there is a Shakespeare quote for every situation and that Shakespeare can be a guide to understanding modern life.

Thank you notes from Garden members

Growing Up & Growing Old Collection

"It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it," said Mark Twain. But do we, really? Our crack team of Garden Fellows are thinking differently about growing up and growing old, and they're here to help you do the same.