Impulsive Behavior of Romeo and Juliet Essay
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There are many examples of characters acting without thinking of the consequences in Romeo and Juliet. The story of Romeo and Juliet is written by the famous author William Shakespeare. The story is about a boy that falls in love with a girl but both of their families have a burning hatred for each other, which leads to both of Romeo’s and Juliet’s demise. Although there are some good things that happen as a result of Romeo acting before thinking, I’m going to show that on most occasions, his rash actions affect himself and others negatively.
To begin, when Romeo has feelings for a girl, he thinks he feels “love” for them, but it is usually never the case. The Capulets throw a party due to a tradition and Romeo attends. While there he notices Juliet and is instantly attracted to her. He, like many other boys, is attracted to girls only for their looks and not personality: “Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop\’s ear/Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!” (1.5.46-47). He is infatuated with Juliet, not in love with her. He is only focusing on her beauty rather than her non-visual redeeming qualities. Within a few minutes of meeting Juliet, he lost all his feeling of depression from being rejected by Rosaline: “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!/For I ne\’er saw true beauty till this night”(1.5.52-53). He thought he was in love with Rosaline but then forgot all about her and his so-called “love” for her when he met Juliet. He now professes true love for Juliet. When Romeo hastily proclaims his love for girls, he doesn’t take the time to court the girls he likes, he makes them upset and feels rushed.
Next, he was impetuous with killing himself when he thought Juliet was dead. Juliet took a potion to appear dead to avoid marrying Paris. When she woke up, she and Romeo were supposed to leave Verona together. Romeo found Juliet in the tomb where he was going to put Tybalt’s body. Romeo jumped straight to the conclusion that she was dead without checking to see if she was breathing or had a heartbeat: \”Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks/And death’s pale flag is not advancèd there\”(5.3.95-96). Romeo did not think about the fact that she could have taken a potion or be unconscious. He immediately took out the poison he obtained when he heard the news of Juliet’s “death” and drank it. When Juliet woke up, she saw that Romeo was dead: “Yea, noise? Then I\’ll be brief. O happy dagger!/This is thy sheath; their rust, and let me die” (5.3.169-170). Romeo’s rash decision to take his own life led to Juliet snatching his dagger and taking her own life. Both of these quotes show that if Romeo had slowed down, problem solved better, and thought through the consequences of his actions, he probably would not have chosen to take his life and would have ended up alive and with Juliet.
On most occasions, Romeo’s impulsive decisions affect himself and others negatively. We can learn from his impulsive decisions which lead to dire consequences. Taking the time to assess our situations and weigh the consequences of our actions may help improve the outcomes of our decisions.
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Elements of Literature. Austin: Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, 2009. 901-1024. Print.