These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Academics and tropers are split into two groups over the play. Either Romeo and Juliet were in love, but died due to rushing into things and a lot of bad luck, or Romeo just wanted to get into bed with her. As far as most of the modern audience is concerned, it's the first one.
It could also be argued that what Romeo and Juliet thought was true love was in fact just romantic infatuation intensified by Forbidden Fruit. Aided of course by Romeo pulling the same theatrics over a girl before meeting Juliet and then promptly forgetting her.
Or Juliet is looking for a way out of marrying someone she doesn't like and out of her controlling family and Romeo happens to be that way.
Here's Alternate GENRE Interpretation: the story is not a RomanticTragedy, but in fact it is a Romantic Black Comedy. The convoluted circumstances surrounding the lover's meeting and the extremes they go too during the course of the plot? I think The Bard intended some sick humour all along.
Cliché Storm: Even when it was written, the story had been told in various other forms.
Designated Villain: We're not supposed to like Paris because he stands between Romeo and Juliet. He was courting Juliet in the manner customary of the time, and is the only character who is killed without doing anything to deserve it.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Mercutio, who has all the good lines in the early part of the play, making it more jolting when he's killed.
Arguably, Benvolio too, who seems to have found some standing amongst young people who value sanity over romance.
On a similar note, the Friar. In his first appearance, he scolds Romeo for falling for a girl he just met, while completely forgetting about the girl he was talking about two days ago. In his next appearance, he calls out Romeo for whining, and tells him to suck it up and look on the bright side.
Foe Yay: Between Romeo and Tybalt. "The reason that I have to love thee," indeed...
Idiot Plot: Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo, Capulet, Juliet, Balthazar and Paris make some very bad decisions in this play. It might actually be more convenient to list the characters who aren'tToo Dumb to Live.
Iron Woobie: The Nurse. Despite having lost her husband, daughter, surrogate daughter and very close kindsman, she is possibly the least angsty character in the play.
Jerkass Woobie: Romeo himself. Despite being an angsty douchebag who does nothing but make bad decisions, at the end of the day he's just a teenager who really doesn't deserve all of the crap that happens to him.
The thing is, whilst studying Shakespeare, Too Good for This Sinful Earth is exactly what he was aiming for... You know Shakespeare wasn't afraid to dish out miserable endings, and, to him, the deaths of Juliet and Romeo weren't "bad" in that they're dead, because they get to be together eternally in death, in fact, it's all the adult characters who are forced to suffer, now their children are all dead, because they carried on the fued. Shakespeare wrote the play with the fact that Juliet and Romeo's love for one another is spellbinding and true... And, though they both commit suicide, he places absolutely no blame on the lovers, but rather on their familes, and even Prince Escalus.
Moral Event Horizon: Tybalt crosses it by killing Mercutio with a cheap shot, thus setting off a chain of events leading directly to the Downer Ending. This is softened in some adaptations, including the Zeferelli version, where Tybalt kills him accidentally and is somewhat horrified upon realizing who he had wounded.
Older Than They Think: It was not uncommon for Shakespeare to "borrow" his plots from other works. The story of Romeo and Juliet was heavily based on a poem by the English poet Arthur Brooks called The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. Brooks in turn got the story from a number of Italian and French novellas about Romeo/Romeus and Juliet/Julietta/Giulietta. These works bears many similarities to the story of "Pyramus and Thisbe" in Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Too Cool to Live: Mercutio. Shakespeare once claimed that he "had to kill Mercutio before Mercutio killed him."
Wangst: Romeo, about Rosaline, until he sees Juliet. And then he wangsts about not being able to be with her. The single longest speech in the play consists of Friar Lawrence calling him out over his endless wangst.
What an Idiot: Mercutio decides to fight Tybalt when Romeo does the sensible thing and refuses, even though he knows Tybalt is an amazing fighter and will probably win. This causes not only his own death, but all the other deaths in the play - Tybalt, Paris, Romeo, Juliet and Lady Montague.Nice Job Breaking It, Mercutio.
Although some versions play this differently, Tybalt is alwayseager to fight and Mercutio humors him with what he thinks is a faux duel to let off some steam. It's only when Romeo tries to stop them that Mercutio is killed.
Um, Romeo could have totally saved Mercutio but instead put the information's secrecy over his own best friend's (the only one who stood up for him the whole time) life. Mercutio saw it as Romeo being a pussy and decided to step in.