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Romeo and Juliet - What is it that accounts for the changes in the character of Romeo?

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Samantha Whittaker Romeo and Juliet: - GCSE coursework What is it that accounts for the changes in the character of Romeo? After an emotional fight at the start of the play, the mood is brought down by the introduction of a love sick Montague by the name of Romeo. Throughout 'Romeo and Juliet,' Romeo's character goes through a number of changes, he matures from a self-absorbed child into a mature young man thanks to the trial and tribulations he encounters and overcomes in the play. Romeo is a very romantic character, but at the beginning of the play, the extent of his love is that of a teenager. He is infatuated with Rosaline, and due to her lack of love back, he childishly becomes depressed, locking himself in his room to in some foolish effort to get Rosaline. "Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, And makes himself an artificial night." (Act 1.1 130-131) Romeo is lovesick. He 'loves' Rosaline and as she has sworn to stay chaste and never marry, he is confused and can't come to terms with the fact he will never have Rosaline. Romeos use of oxymorons shows such confusion. "O brawling love, O loving hate." (Act 1.1 167) Act one shows how immature Romeo is. He is shown to be self-absorbed, childish and an over reactor. He cares about nothing but himself and how depressed he is. ...read more.


This is particularly apparent in his peacemaking ways. Romeo tries to make peace with Tybalt as he is now family, Tybalt being Juliet's cousin. Romeo tries to explain to Tybalt that he cannot fight him, as he loves him, as he is a Capulet, a name that he holds close to him in Juliet. "But love thee better than thoust canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love; And so, good Capulet, which name I tender As dearly as mine own, be satisfied. (Act 3.1 61-65) The reason for this change, according to Romeo, is Juliet. "O sweet Juliet, thy beauty hath made me effeminate And in my temper softened valour's steel!" (Act 3.1 104-106) So according to Romeo, Juliet had changed him to become soft and submissive compared to the fighter he used to be with Mercutio and Benvolio. Romeo is prophetic of events to come, knowing that trouble lies ahead for him. "This day's black fate on moe days doth depend, This but begins the woe others must end." (Act 3.1 110-111) Romeo's serene mood snaps after Tybalt kills Mercutio and returns for more. Romeo has got so angry at Tybalt's actions, he becomes vengeful and agrees to fight Tybalt because: " Either thou or I, or both, must go with him [Mercutio]" (Act 3.1 120) As Romeo slay Tybalt, he must face the consequences. ...read more.


Romeo's desperation to be with Juliet causes him to be aggressive and determined to the point of desperation. He threatens Balthasar with his life unless he goes and leaves Romeo to do what he must do. "By heaven I shall tear thee joint by joint." (Act 5.3 35) Romeo is desperate to die; he admits it to Paris before he kills him out of desperation. "Tempt not a desperate man." (Act 5.3 59) Paris thinks that Romeo has come to deface the Capulet family vault, as he knows not of Romeo and Juliet's true love and marriage. Paris arrests Romeo for breaking into and damaging the vault. Romeo is determined to end his life with Juliet so much so, that he kills Paris, just so that he can proceed with his mission. It is at this point, when Romeo beholds Juliet's body, that we realise that Romeo is far from the fickle boy we met at the start of the play: he is know a mature mane who is in love. His love for Juliet is everlasting. "Death that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, Hath no power yet upon thy beauty." (Act 5.3 92-93) Thus, Romeo dies a totally different character from the lovesick teenager he is in act one. The ending is even more sad as, the fact of the matter is, Romeo won't have the chance to prove to the world what a responsible, loving character he has grown into over such a short period of time and noone will ever understand his true self. ...read more.

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