Romeo And Juliet Teenage Brain Analysis

859 Words4 Pages
For hundreds of years people have wondered what is really happening in the adolescent (teenage) brain. Throughout history, adolescent development has been the focus of many “coming of age” movies, novels, and plays. Most notably, the world renowned play Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare in 1596. Romeo and Juliet tells the story of two adolescents who are challenged by their still-developing prefrontal cortexes, which is the part of the brain attributed to decision making. An example of under developed prefrontal cortex brain activity is written, in Act Five, Scene Three, Lines 70 through 170 of Romeo and Juliet. In this scene Romeo is led to believe that Juliet has killed herself to escape an arranged marriage to County Paris. Romeo decides to kill Paris and then himself. Later in the play, after learning of Romeo’s…show more content…
These two adolescents would rather love each other forever in heaven than not love again on earth. Over the last decade, researchers have discovered a better understanding of how the developing prefrontal cortex manifests in this exaggerated kind of adolescent decision making. Dustin Albert, Jason Chein, and Laurence Steinberg document adolescent decision making in the article “The Teenage Brain: Peer Influences on Adolescent Decision Making”. It is proposed that, “…among adolescents more than adults, the presence of peers ‘primes’ a reward-sensitive motivational state that increases the subjective value of immediately available rewards and thereby increases preferences for the short-term benefits of risky choices over the long-term value of safe alternatives” (2). This article further documents factors that affect adolescent decision making explaining that, “…adolescents are less capable than adults of ‘top down’ cognitive control of impulsive behavior” (3), essentially meaning that teens are unable to see the “big picture” when making decisions. In other words, tens lack the ability to see the long term consequences of their

    More about Romeo And Juliet Teenage Brain Analysis

      Open Document