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How does the scene in which Romeo learns of his banishment contribute to our understanding of him in the rest of the play? Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet

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How does the scene in which Romeo learns of his banishment contribute to our understanding of him in the rest of the play? Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy about two young lovers from rival families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Set in the sixteenth century, the two lovers have to conceal their love. However, two people who know about their passion filled romance are Friar Lawrence and Nurse. Despite the fact that they are enemies they are married within one day of meeting each other. However, not everything goes according to plan as seen through the duration of the play. Romeo learns of his banishment in Act three scene three, it introduces us to a very intense portrait of Romeo. This scene is helpful in understanding Romeo throughout the play, containing a vast range of moods, including immaturity and rationality. Act three scene three introduces us to a conversation between Romeo and Friar Lawrence, discussing Romeo's banishment from Verona. This occurred because of the murder of Juliet's cousin Tybalt. The greeting from Romeo to the Friar immediately implies that he is in a sour mood: "Father what news? What is the Princes doom? What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand that I yet know not." Romeo is portrayed as a moody teenage boy who is over dramatic and childish throughout this scene. In Romeo's eyes banishment is worse punishment than death itself: "Be merciful, say death: / for exile hath more terror in his look." ...read more.


Romeo tells Benvolio that he is: "Out of her favour, where I am in love." The problem in Act one scene one is that Romeo is distraught and confused about love. He feels that love is cruel as well as kind because when he told Rosaline how he felt about her, she would not love him back: "Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! / Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!" He uses speech throughout this scene, which is full of opposites making it confusing to understand him. However, Benvolio understands him and sympathises with him. From the beginning of the play the distinct impression that is given is that Romeo will fall in love with anybody because he loves to be loved. This is ironic because within days of saying he is in love with Rosaline, he claims he is in love with Juliet and marries her within a day. This makes him very spontaneous. For a moment during this scene it seems like Romeo is tired of talking about love. He enquires to Benvolio about what they will eat before he exclaims: "O me! What fray was here?" It becomes obvious at this point that neither food nor fighting can turn Romeo's thoughts away from love. He thinks that no matter how much people talk about hate and fighting, love is more interesting. He does not give Benvolio a chance to speak, but continues talking about himself and his obsession with love. ...read more.


The Friar tells the Nurse that Romeo has become drunk due to his tears; his tears have made him lose his sense and he has become disillusioned because of his depression. However, as the Nurse comes to speak of Juliet, and how her state is much the same, Romeo seems to forget his sadness and is concerned with Juliet. Romeo thinks that by killing Tybalt, he has done Juliet as much pain as if he had killed her instead and so he assumes that their love is "cancell'd" because he does not feel worthy of her love now he has killed her cousin. This suggests modesty and he feels that he has ruined their love due to his actions towards her kinsman. He obviously regrets his actions and would take them back if he could to save his love. He sees the error of his ways and has faced the consequences - a contradiction to his earlier immaturity. However, Romeo is over-excited and over-exaggerates about the pain he is feeling for Juliet; he asks the Friar in which part of the body he exists so he can stab himself there and end his existence. This may sound a brave action on first hearing it, but on reflection it seems that Romeo is willing to kill again now he has experienced his first murder, by asking where he exists so he can cease his existence, he is making a show of his love and pain and expressing his immaturity further. ...read more.

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