The state of being in love in adolescence often takes on the form of passion and the accents of tragedy. It is also as much feared as sought after, not only as re-encounter and repetition, « republishing of old news » as Freud writes, but also as a new discovery, creative dynamism, transforming invention. Henceforth it represents a second baptism, a new birth which must sometimes disavow the first. To love is to be reborn. To undo oneself, in order to redo oneself in a better way, to recreate oneself. At the risk, of course, of losing oneself forever. The state of being in love in adolescence demands the psychoanalyst’s attention. Clinical experience sometimes confronts us with psychical breakdowns in the wake of romantic disappointments. They reveal the quality of the narcissistic foundations of the adolescent whose identity is suffering. More a reviviscence than a reminiscence. In such situations, where representations are lacking to us, literature can be a big help. It can enable us to put into words a story which has none. Using Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the author suggests several possible lines of interpretation of love in adolescence involving notion of the sexual body, narcissism, death, orgasm, name.
Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n° 3, pp. 683-705.