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At The Beginning of the play Romeo is a 'love-sick boy,' by the end is he a man?

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Hamish Dunn At The Beginning of the play Romeo is a 'love-sick boy,' by the end is he a man? At the beginning of the play Romeo appears to be a lovesick boy. He acts impetuously, rushing into love and marriage, at first oblivious to the war brewing around him. This essay will look at the different sections of the play with reference to some of the most poignant moments for Romeo. This essay will also look at how Romeo's character develops and pinpoint any significant changes in his attitude to life. This essay will also identify Shakespeare's techniques and how they help portray Romeo's character, in order to gain a fuller understanding of the image the playwright was trying to put across when writing the play. In Act 1 Scene1 Romeo appears to be the 'lovesick boy,' he is constantly talking of Rosaline. He is so obsessed with Rosaline he is oblivious to the fight brewing between the Capulets and the Montagues. Shakespeare uses oxymorons to show Romeo's disturbed emotional state, "...O brawling love, O brawling hate..." Oxymorons were very popular in love poetry of Shakespeare's time therefore contemporaries would recognise this and understand what Shakespeare meant. In the play Shakespeare is very poetical in order to portray Romeo's character. ...read more.


Romeo says that the high walls of Capulet's mansion will not keep out his love for Juliet, "With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold thy love out." The audience feels Romeo is still the lovesick boy because he believes he is truly in love with Juliet yet he has only known her for a few hours. When Romeo visits the friar to arrange his marriage Friar Lawrence tries to warn Romeo that he is rushing into things and what Romeo now feels is not true love but a teenage obsession, "Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here.../...Young men's love then lies, Not truly in their hearts but in their eyes." Act 3 Scene 1 can be seen as a turning point for Romeo's personality, as he begins to act more responsibly. He tries not to get involved in the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt and pleads Mercutio to stop, "Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!" Unfortunately in trying to prevent the conflict he makes it worse, resulting in the death of Mercutio. While dying Mercutio blames Romeo for his injury, this creates a deep feeling of guilt inside Romeo. In desperation Romeo dashes off to kill Tybalt before giving himself time to think, he shows signs of an immature youth once again. ...read more.


Romeo mentions that Juliet does not look as though she is dead, "Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks," this is ironic, as the audience knows Juliet is not truly dead. In Romeo's last words he is no longer a love-sick boy but a contented and mature young man; Romeo talks of Juliet as his wife, not an excuse for his love-sickness, "...O my love, my wife." Romeo's love for Juliet is shown to be true as he is willing to die for her, "Here's to my love! [Drinks] O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. [Dies]" Earlier in his marriage one would not expect Romeo to have been willing to die for her as he still had the attitude of a lovesick boy. In conclusion Romeo begins the play as an impatient lovesick boy. By the end of the play Romeo is a man, he no longer acts impatiently as he takes time to contemplate his actions. Romeo finds true love, maybe as a result of circumstances, he also matures a great deal this is shown when he lays Paris next to Juliet. Shakespeare structured the play as he did to show the change in Romeo's character from the beginning through to the end and highlight the 'love-sick' boy that remains in Romeo even when he is considered a man; when Romeo hears of his banishment he is very emotional. ...read more.

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