An essay on the play Romeo and Juliet Essay
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In the play we do not meet Romeo until after the fight in the street between the Montague’s and the Capulet’s, Shakespeare shows the audience the feud between the two families before he introduces the main character, Romeo. The first impressions we get of Romeo are that he is a loner and prefers to be on his own, rather then spending time with other people. Shakespeare shows this by making him seem solitary and distant, he also uses darkness to portray Romeos feelings, he does this when Montague describes Romeos actions “Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out and makes himself an artificial night”.
Montague talks to Benvolio about Romeos troubles and describes his condition as an illness, Shakespeare shows this when Montague says “as willingly give the cure as known” this shows that Montague describes Romeo as being ill as he refers to a “cure” being able to help him. When Benvolio promises Montague to “know his grievance” the audience meets Romeo for the first time already with an idea about his character, that he is a loner and is depressed. When Romeo first appears he has a conversation with Benvolio, this tells the audience what is wrong with Romeo.
Romeo tells Benvolio that his current state is because of unrequited love. Shakespeare shows Romeos emotions using a paradox “O brawling love, O loving hate” (the theme of love and hate is reoccurring through out the play) and “Feather of lead” these are examples of oxymoron’s (a paradox reduced to two words), they show that Romeo is in a confused and perplexed state, this could mean that Romeo does not fully understand his love for Rosaline and is bewildered by it.
Romeo tells Benvolio that the love he feels for Rosaline makes him feel like some one else and he admits to loosing his grip on reality “I have lost myself; I am not here, this is not Romeo, he’s some other where. ” This shows that Romeo is self absorbed and infatuated by Rosaline, this gives the idea that Romeo loves the idea of being in love. Although because his love is unrequited it makes him feel ill and depressed “sick man in sadness” this shows that Romeo is a romantic character who wants to be in love.
Romeo seems to be suffering with his love for Rosaline “out of her favor I am in love” this shows that Romeo understands that Rosaline will never love him, the thought of this makes Romeo suffer which shows that his attitude to love is idealistic. Romeo seems to be enjoying the fact that he is in love and he would rather be unhappy in love then not be in love at all. Benvolio then tries to help Romeo with his feelings for Rosaline by counseling Romeo.
Benvolio tells Romeo he will teach him “be ruled by me; forget to think of her” this shows that Benvolio cares about Romeo and wishes to help him, he also tries to instruct him to “examine other beauties” he says this to try an make Romeo fall in love with another person who may return his love. Romeo rejects these ideas this shows that he likes the idea of being in love and does not want to give it up. Benvolio tries to teach Romeo to forget about Rosaline by using a several proverbs “one fire burns out another’s burning” this means that he will forget all about Rosaline if he finds some one else to love.
For this Romeo ridicules Benvolio by telling him simple cures for a simple wound. Romeo then goes on to describe the torment of unrequited love “shut up in prison, kept without food and whipped” this shows how Romeos unrequited love is making him feel, the pain that Romeo describes seems to have been exaggerated which shows that Romeo is obsessed by his own suffering. During their conversation one of the Capulet’s servants asks them to read out a party invitation as he cannot read. Romeo only goes to the party from heavy persuasion by Benvolio and the thought of seeing Rosaline.
The thought of seeing her also cheers Romeo up. On his way to the party Romeo continues to show that his love for Rosaline is never ending, as he protests about having fun at the party because the pain from love is to much “Give me a torch. I am not for this ambling being but heavy I will bear the light” This shows that he does not want to partake in the dancing or have fun and he also refuses to be cheered up further (in the time this was written bearing the torch meant that the person would not have to dance).
Romeo uses puns to describe how he feels about dancing at the party “With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead” this shows that Romeo is still showing the pain he feels. He claims that he will not be hit by cupid’s arrow which shows that he does not think he will love anyone else. When Romeo reaches the party he meets Juliet for the first time. He falls in love with her when he first lays his eyes upon her, this makes the audience feel that Romeos love for Rosaline was not true but what he feels for Juliet might be, at this point Romeo forgets all about Rosaline this shows Romeo is fickle in love.
Romeo then uses images of light and dark to describe how she stands out from the rest of the people at the party “She hangs upon the cheek of night, as a rich jewel” Romeos language no longer seems forced but genuine this shows that he is a romantic person who has truly fallen in love. Romeo and Juliet share a sonnet the first time they meet, Romeo describes him self as a pilgrim worshipping a shrine which symbolizes Juliet, “this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this. My lips, two blushing pilgrims” this shows the true love that the two feel for each other.
At the end of the sonnet Romeo kisses Juliet, but before they kiss again Juliet’s maid takes her away to Lady Capulet (Juliet’s mother), when this happens both Romeo and Juliet realize that their families are enemies. Romeo then states that “my life is my foes debt” this shows that his life is now in Juliet’s hands and is out of his control, this again shows that Romeo is truly in love with Juliet as he is going to wait and let Juliet control him. In conclusion Shakespeare reveals Romeos attitude to love in many different ways he shows that he is ruled by his emotions and is not rational when it comes to love.
He also shows that Romeo is fickle in love; he also seems to like the idea of being in love and enjoys the suffering he feels from unrequited love. He shows that Romeos love is unpredictable as he forgets about Rosaline all too quickly; this shows that Romeo may be genuinely falling in love for the first time. I think Shakespeare has portrayed Romeos character well as he shows a number of different emotions and uses different techniques portray his ideas of the character Romeo.