Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare have been developed as the basis of any modern day love story. Written in the 1500s, the compelling plot and tragic ending interests most readers and audiences, and is now well known and gained great fame. Because of this, various modern day romantic movies and novels now follow the incredibly well known synopsis of Romeo and Juliet. Twilight by Stephanie Meyers released in 2005 can be considered as an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet not only because of their similarities, but also how their plots developed over time in similar ways. Although both stories exhibit similar qualities, they embody differences caused by the different time period and culture. Edward and Bella portray perfect characters as Romeo and Juliet, and both stories include elements such as an idea of a forbidden love, falling in love at a young age, and a third-party character who opposes the love. 

 Romeo and Juliet’s love and Edward and Bella’s love are both forbidden although shown in different ways. Juliet is a Capulet while Romeo is a Montague; Bella is a human while Edward is a vampire. Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden love are shown when Juliet favors Romeo even though he murders Tybalt, kinsman to the Capulets. “He was not born to shame/ Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit,/ for ‘tis a throne where honor may be crowned(135).” Juliet is forced to choose between the love of her life and her family, and she chooses Romeo without a doubt, protecting her love against the war between their families. On the other hand, even though Edward thirsts for Bella’s blood, and Bella understands the danger of them being together, but their passion for each other is so strong that they still choose to be with each other.  

Both stories show their characters falling in love in a short period of time; Romeo and Juliet fall in love at a party and Edward and Bella fall in love immediately at school. As shown with Romeo’s short relationship with Rosaline, Romeo exhibits complete shallowness, and has a dramatic quality. He falls in love incredibly quickly, judging by one’s appearance. Although not as inconsiderable, Juliet is immature at age 13 and had never experienced true love. Romeo and Juliet first meet at a ball, and Romeo only falls in love with Juliet because of her beauty. “She doth teaches torches to burn bright!/ It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night as a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear/ beauty too rich for use, for Earth too dear(53).” Romeo only comments on Juliet’s appearance and completely falls in love like love at first sight. Edward and Bella are not as dramatic because of the difference in time period, Edward and Bella meet at school. Although they do not fall in love immediately, there are events that happens corresponding after that which leads to their love very quickly.

 In both stories, there is a third party who serves as an obstacle between their love. In Romeo and Juliet, Paris is the obstacle and in Twilight, Jacob loves Bella. Paris is supposedly whom Juliet will marry chosen by her father, Capulet. Where Romeo and Juliet took place, it was ultimately the father’s decision who the daughter gets to marry. “O bid me leap/ rather than marry Paris/ from off the battlements of any tower/ or walk in thievish ways or bid me lurk where serpents are(183).” Juliet has no choice than to marry Paris, and she confesses to Friar how much she does not want to marry him. This eventually leads to Friar’s poison which causes Romeo, Juliet and Paris’s deaths. On the other hand, Jacob in Twilight shows affection to Bella, protecting her and for a while, Bella realizes that she is subtly falling in love with him. Jacob obstructs Bella and Edward’s relationship, and it causes jealousy and rivalry fighting over Bella.

 Some people might argue that Twilight is not an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet because of the difference in how their families could influence their love is dramatic in the two stories. In Twilight, family does not play a big role, since both parties are not against each other specifically. In Romeo and Juliet, the antagonism between the Montagues and the Capulets is the sole reason why the conflicts happen between the relationship of Romeo and Juliet. The Prince declares that if any Montague and Capulet fights again, then they will be executed. “will be deaf to pleading and excuses/ Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses/ Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste/ else when he is found, that hour is his last(129).” Romeo is exiled and is never to be seen again because of the feud between the Montagues and Capulets.

 Through comparing these two love stories and their ideas of a forbidden love, falling in love at a young age, and a third-party character who opposes the love, it is evident that Twilight could be considered an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Their affinity in various parts of the plot, as well as how it developed over time accustoming to the different time period helps understanding of the different cultures. Over time, the characters and plot didn’t change dramatically and they are still shown in many narratives today. Although time changed, what society thinks of an ideal love story did not change and this shows that time doesn’t change what people believe.