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Romeo is presented to the audience through two characters. Montague and Benvolio, Montague is Romeo’s father and Benvolio is Romeo’s cousin ‘Good morrow, cousin’. Shakespeare has laid this out in a very intellectual manner; by introducing Romeo through other characters because this instantly makes Romeo stand out, look more imperative and maybe even have a higher status than the other characters in the play; because he is talked about and has been acquainted by Montague and Benvolio. Benvolio and Montague are both concerned about Romeo’s recent behaviour because he has not been acting himself lately.
Montague reveals ‘Away from light steals home my heavy son’. This presents Romeo as a character who locks himself out of regularity and is constantly feeling sorry for him. His father feels that he needs to depend on others to remove him from this extraordinary insecurity. Benvolio comments ‘Towards him I made, but he was ware of me’, this shows that Romeo is feeling unsociable at he moment as well as out of character. Romeo also unexpectedly admits that in recent times he has not been himself ‘Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here, this is not Romeo, he’s some other where’
Romeo is presented to the audience as quite timid and introverted. He has been shown to wanting to take the easy way round to things ‘O me! What fray was here? Showing that he does not like fighting and he is not interested in it. By saying that Romeo may be referring it to the old grudge between the Montague’s and Capulet’s. When Benvolio questions him about love, he avoids admitting to it, however does not change the subject. This shows that he does not want to spill out with the truth and does not mention any names, but keep on waffling on about ‘love’ thinking slowly as time goes by.
The audience gets the impression that Romeo is inexperienced as this is his first love. He has only just realised how painful love is ‘ this love feel I, that feel no love in this’, showing that Romeo almost certainly felt that love would be an exciting experience. Shakespeare presents Benvolio as a stronger, less sensitive character than Romeo, he also seems to be literally telling Romeo what to do directly ‘Be ruled by me, forget to think of her’ show that Benvolio is giving Romeo good quality advice’. Romeo also tends to dramatise and exaggerate his feelings as they pour out in one go, ‘o brawling love, o loving hate, o any thing…etc’.
This speeds up the time compared to before; it is builds up the tension, as Romeo chants many oxymorons. This extent of dramatisation is due to Romeo’s depression and bewilderment about love. This shows the audience that Romeo is going through the enjoyment of emotional pain. In conclusion to this, in act 1 scene 1, Shakespeare presents Romeo in a very, perplexed, depressed and frazzled way. As the audience knows Romeo is also not acting himself; due to this we cannot make any assumptions about him, yet.