Sunday, March 14, 2010

Analyzing Romeo and Juliet- A Teen Aspie's view

This is a new experience, we forgot to set our clocks forward, so we missed church. We decided to go over our son's paper for Romeo and Juliet that is due tomorrow. If you haven't read Shakespeare in a long time, going back and explaining the details to your kid makes for an, "entertaining" time. In fact, it is surprising to me that my son has chosen a minor barely mentioned character as the foil in this story.

He has decided that it is all Rosaline's fault that Romeo and Juliet die. She toyed with Romeo's feeling and played him for a fool. From the notes from his class and what I have read, it appears that he came up with this all on his own. I certainly never would have influenced him to pick Rosaline. I mean, she really has nothing to do with the entire story.

It goes to show that Aspie's think in their own way. This minor character, to my son, is a major problem. She was a tease, a mean person, and acted one way but said differently. No wonder he thinks she is a bad person. He sees behavior like that all of the time. His entire life is spent wondering why people act one way and say something else. He got a note from some girls in his class, telling him they hated him and then signed it "Love". I mean he gets Romeo, and really understands the bad feelings part of the play.

For me, going back and reminding myself that my son needs to understand the story from his teen viewpoint is really a challenge. I see so many different things than I did the first time I read that story. In fact, I believe I may have blamed Mercurio, because he was harassing Romeo continually. But my son sees this Rosaline as the really negative character. She was the one that started the problem and Romeo wouldn't have looked at Juliet if Rosaline had been decent to him.

I think my son is analyzing this drama from a very different place. He has dealt with personal pain; of being different, of not liking how things are (his autism), and not knowing what to do about it. Working with him to help him verbalize what the story could be, how dangerous and mean it is for people to play with others feelings makes it harder for me to stay neutral. I want to take the hurt and humiliation he feels daily and fling it away. I can't. In the long term, it wouldn't be helpful for him, and it wouldn't do me any good either.