We have emphasized important works from different periods of history, ranging from greek mythology up to the Renaissance. We have made these pieces of literature valuable for our education and have imprinted their importance in our society. We must still ask ourselves: What makes these publications classics? What is so special about them that we’ve decided to honor them this way? There are many distinguished movies and novels, some dating back to Shakespeare, Hemingway, Moliere and other authors, while others date to today’s movies and television shows. The breakfast clubs and Romeo’s and Juliet are both classics, but they are very different.
As a starting point, let’s try to define classic. According to the dictionary, it is “a piece of art with a recognized and established worth”. What criteria are there? A look at the oldest love story in literature might be helpful. Romeo and Juliette, an old story written in 16th-century by William Shakespeare, tells the tale of two young lovers. Their deaths reconcile the feuding families.
The play has been performed by many actors. Many adaptations of the story have made it his most famous and enduring story. Shakespeare’s play was immensely popular during his lifetime. And we still regard the two as archetypes, or symbols that are constantly repeated. Hence, it only sets the stage for its universality. This is because it follows Romeo’s and Juliet’s families and the Capulets or Montagues in their omnipresence and intense hatred. The themes of Individualism and Violence, as well as the omnipresence of powerful love between Romeo and Juliet and their families, the Capulets versus Montagues are universal. These themes also explore worthy and existential ideas. The story can be compared to reality. In the Middle East conflicts, for example, the Montagues could represent Israel, while the Capulets would represent the Palestinians. Another example on a more modest scale is gang warfare.
John Hughes’ breakfast club premiered in Los Angeles February 7, 1985. It was a huge success. It is, like Shakespeare’s play, one of Hughes most recognizable and memorable works. The story follows five students who are in detention for the entire day. Each belongs to a distinct “clique”. Molly Ringwald is Claire Standish the prom queen, Anthony Michael Hall is Brian Johnson the geek, Emilio Estevez is Andrew Clark the jock wrestling champion, Judd Nelson plays John Bender the delinquent and Ally Sheedy, Allison Reynolds the outcast. They will find that they are acolytes after spending time together. This film is still a classic. In fact, it was restored and re-released on DVD, Blu-ray, and a 30th anniversary edition just four years ago. It can also be seen today on Netflix. Many would say that John Hughes, director of the Breakfast Club, has a lasting influence on the 1980s. However the actors who played the lead roles in the film are still well-known and younger generations continue to watch the movie. This is a movie that you will see at least once, if not more, without trying. In the years since, this story has been reused or recycled several times. The movie’s moral still poses questions that are relevant today as well as then. The movie tells a story of coming-of-age, with its fears and hormones. As the events of the film are common to all individuals, parents and teenagers, they raise questions of labels, fitting-in, and having an regal standing when one is in front their parents. These ideas are still debated and discussed today, with the #metoo and mental health awareness months.
These two works of art are both considered classics because they are timeless, relevant to the individual and depict society. Both have become classics due to the passage of time and also because of their timeless themes: friendship, hate, violence, and social issues. Romeo and Juliet are both a reflection of societal conflict, family expectations or standards, titles or labels. Therefore, the audience can understand and relate to these characters. The public can relate to characters and the story. In this way, they raise real issues in our society that can be compared to the present. Shakespeare’s play clearly has a more old-fashioned story than The Breakfast Club, which deals with modern issues. Although these situations are still present today, they have an old-fashioned feel to them. There are many viewers who enjoy stories with real adversity. They love tales about doomed relationships or how to overcome differences. The lessons can then be applied to their own lives.