Fake Love Never Works Out

Romeo and Juliet and the music of Panic at the Disco.

Romeo and Juliet and I Write Sins Not Tragedies are directly connected through the hidden message located throughout the songs text. The arranged marriages planned in the song and book force characters to choose their future against their will but it doesn’t stop them trying to go in the path that makes them happy.

Both are similar because both tell a story about a marriage that has been doomed from the very start. In “Romeo and Juliet”, a family feud between their two families, the Capulets and Montagues dooms their marriage before they have even met each other. This feud had started decades before either Romeo or Juliet were born and yet the strong rivalry and distrust between the two families has continued to their present day. The prologue explains this, “From ancient grudge break to new mutiny… Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”(Chorus.2–3) In this passage, Shakespeare wrote how “ancient” ancestors had feuded over something which turned into grudge to lasting for generations, causing relations between the families to hostile. So how are Romeo and Juliet suppose to become husband and wife? They, in theory, cannot. In “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” by “Panic at the Disco”, the song is about a bride who has been cheating on her groom for a long time upon learning about her planned wedding. Everyone at the wedding knows this and they choose not to say or do anything about it. The singer, Brendon, then makes it clear by saying, “And yes, but what a shame, what a shame, the poor groom’s bride is a whore.” His verse about the bride being a “whore” tells the listener that she, the bride to be, has companions other than the groom but it’s only because she doesn’t want this marriage. She’s been forced into it by her family and the relationships she has with other men besides the groom is her way of rebelling against this decision.

In both the book and the song, the story lines revolve around the topic of love. In “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, the groom is forced to ignore the selfish decisions of the groom because he has to due to his family arranging their marriage for a reason although it’s not mentioned in the song. In the book, a similar situation happens because Juliet in act one and two is suppose to have an arranged marriage with the prince in order to get more power for her family even when she doesn’t truly love him (fake love). She’s already fallen in love with Romeo and he has as well. Romeo says in Act 2 how, “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”(2.2) What he means is that he has a lot of things (bounty) that make him very happy but the love he has for Juliet is immeasurable. He also says, “the more I give to thee, the more I have” meaning all the love that he shares with her makes him happier than anything else can be proving how the love they share for each other is true. This also shows how their ignoring the reality of the two family feuds and the arranged marriage for Juliet that the Capulets still think is happening, they’re going by what their hearts say.

Fake love is the outlined theme in “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Romeo and Juliet.” It’s a theme that none of the characters are willing to let determine their future in both stories and instead, they listen to their hearts not caring about the consequences.



Panic! AT The Disco. “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Atlantic Records, 2014, Spotify, open.spotify.com/track/0OPES3Tw5r86O6fudK8gxi.


Shakespeare, William, and Alan Durband. Romeo and Juliet. Woodbury, N.Y: Barron’s, 1985. Print.

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