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How do Romeo and Juliet develop mentally and emotionally in the play?

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Introduction

How do Romeo and Juliet develop mentally and emotionally in the play? In the play, both characters change dramatically. Shakespeare conveys this well and throughout the play he devises different confrontations and conversations which indicate the 2 main characters' personality change. In the beginning, Romeo loves after a woman he has not even had a meaningful conversation with. He sulks and complains about his emotional misfortune with Rosaline. Courtly love is not true love. Courtly love is arranged love, where people marry for status, and love is controlled. His sentences rhyme and his words seem calculated. They come from his head, not his heart. "Alas that Love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will." Romeo's love is clearly contrived. He follows the Courtly Love tradition. This couplet rhymes. It seems as though Romeo has planned all of his complaints beforehand, and he is in love with being in love rather that being in love properly. ...read more.

Middle

This, is all of Juliet's character at the start of the play, there is no other side to her. Juliet is not disobedient, she respects and loves her parents, and would marry anyone they deemed fit to marry their daughter. This shows naivety and a lack of independence on her part. At the Capulet's ball, where Juliet has been instructed to introduce herself to Paris, Romeo first sets his eyes on Juliet. Then, it's as if he has come across a cure for his 'love' with Rosaline - suddenly, his words become far less contrived. Truth shows in his words'. Romeo has not thought about them, because this is true love. When he meets her, he states "If I profane with my unworthiest hand, This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand, To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." ...read more.

Conclusion

In Tybalt and Mercutio's battle, Romeo discourages them both from fighting. This shows that he is no longer a boy, who wishes to prove hi manliness by fighting. He is a man, who does not need to prove anything. But because Tybalt then killed Mercutio, Romeo felt the need to avenge his best friend. He kills Tybalt, and this shows a whole new side to him. He is violent and impulsive. Juliet's changes are prominent as well. She is now experienced from her love with Romeo and she is resourceful. By taking the poison and temporarily 'killing' herself, she in effect cancels her wedding with Paris, the man who she now does not want to marry, another change from the old, obedient Juliet. She is now independent, choosing who she wants to love and to live with. Also, ultimately, she kills herself when she finds Romeo, dead, lying next to her. An ironic tale, seeing as he killed himself thinking she were dead only for her to wake and do the same. ...read more.

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