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Romeo is his own worst enemy, how does Shakespeare suggest this to us?

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Kerry Walker Romeo is his own worst enemy, how does Shakespeare suggest this to us? Romeo is his own worst enemy due to a few 'flaws' in his personality; his impetuosity, his passionate nature and his changeability. If any of these characteristics were absent the whole outcome of the play would probably change quite drastically. Romeo's passionate personality is shown to us quite early in the play, in Act 2, scene 2, famously known as the 'balcony scene.' Although earlier in the play Romeo is shown to be infatuated with Rosaline but as soon as Romeo sees Juliet we see him show almost immediate passion for her. At the beginning of the play we hear Romeo talking to Benvolio of his love for Rosaline and how his heart hurts because his love is not returned by her. We know this from a conversation that Romeo and Benvolio had when Benvolio asks Romeo; "...What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?" And Romeo responds; "Not having that which having makes them short." Here Romeo is saying that when you are not loved the days are long and that when you are loved your days are short. ...read more.


Here, Romeo admits to himself, that he isn't thinking rationally; in fact he invokes anger to 'think for him.' Later, in the same speech Romeo states; "Mercutio's soul Is but a little way above our heads, Staying for thine to keep him company: Either thou or I, or both, must go with him." Basically here Romeo is saying that he is willing to die to avenge Mercutio's death. He says that either Tybalt or himself or both must die and keep Mercutio 'company.' This is not the first time we have seen Romeo's will to die for something, or someone, he loves. In the 'balcony scene', Act 1, scene 5 we hear Romeo say; "My life were better ended by their hate, Than prorogued by wanting of thy love." Romeo is saying that he would rather die by the Capulet's hate for him than not be able to love Juliet. We then see Romeo battle with Tybalt until Tybalt falls. Then we see Romeo admit to himself that he is "fortune's fool," although he admits that he has been foolish but he still 'blames' his foolish action on fortune. Kerry Walker When Balthasar first brings the news to Romeo of Juliet's death Romeo asks no questions and rushes off to get some poison to kill himself without even going to see the Friar. ...read more.


The means that if Romeo and Juliet get married their happiness and love for each other may unite their families and solve the "ancient grudge" that has stood between the two families for years, and turn their hate into "pure love." Timing is also an important element. Timing is so important in any tragedy; a few second's difference could mean the difference between life and death; if Romeo had waited just one more minute before he had taken the poison he would have known that Juliet was still alive and neither of them would have died. Another example of timing leading to the tragic ending is if the Friar's letter had arrived with Romeo and he had read it before speaking to Balthasar he would have known that Juliet was not really dead but instead he did not receive the letter and then proceeded to rush off without thinking about the whole situation showing his impetuosity. Kerry Walker So we could say that Romeo's personality does have quite a large bearing on the tragic ending but not a full bearing, but I would certainly say that Romeo is his own worst enemy in some ways but Romeo is not the only person or thing that has an influence on the tragic ending to Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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