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What do you think of Romeo? Did you sympathise with him, thinking him a tragic young man, or did his conduct and attitudes tend to annoy you?

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What do you think of Romeo? Did you sympathise with him, thinking him a tragic young man, or did his conduct and attitudes tend to annoy you? At the start of the play, Romeo acts like a young boy with a crush. He seems to think only of himself and is self-indulgent and weak. However, as the story unfolds, Romeo grows up rapidly. As his idea of love changes into a two-way relationship with Juliet, his genuine emotions shine through and he becomes a strong, decisive and mature character. When we first meet Romeo in Act 1, scene 1 he is talking to his friend Benvolio about his unrequited love for Rosaline. He is completely self-absorbed, concerned only about his feelings. He hardly even notices that a riot has taken place. His language is so extravagant and full of poetic device that it does not seem to reflect genuine emotion. He speaks in riddles to, using oxymorons to reflect his confused state of mind: "Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,/ Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!" Romeo seem to wallow his sorrow and will not let any of Benvolio's suggestions cheer him up. ...read more.


When he tries to speak in poetic language, swearing his love by the moon, Juliet becomes cross and demands that he speak from the heart: "Do not swear at all/Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self." The "balcony" scene between Romeo and Juliet shows that Juliet feels as strongly for Romeo as he does for her, and by the end of it they have agreed to marry. Romeo shows great courage and maturity when he refused to fight Tybalt in Act 3, scene 1. Tybalt is furious with him for attending the Capulet party when he is a Montague, and challenges Romeo to a duel. Romeo is full of love and happiness after marrying Juliet in secret. He refused to do battle with Tybalt, instead telling him that he loves him. When Mercutio fights with Tybalt instead, Romeo tries to stop them both, as he knows that fighting in the street is a crime punishable by death: "Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!/ Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath/ Forbid this bandying in Verona streets." However, when Romeo tries to come between them, Mercutio is fatally wounded. ...read more.


Romeo's final speech shows that his suicide is not the rash act it might have been when he contemplated death in Act 3, scene 3. Romeo loves Juliet more than life itself and believes that the only way they can be together is if he kills himself. He does not die out of anger, or rage at the unfairness of the situation, but because he loves Juliet and is not willing to live his life without her. In conclusion, Romeo is a very emotional and rash character, but he does show maturity in his love for Juliet. His conduct is annoying early in the play, when he is infatuated with Rosaline and again later, when he is banished. However, in his two-way love for Juliet, he is mature and sincere and thinks of Juliet before himself. Romeo becomes a strong-minded young man, battling against the odds, whose love for Juliet is not dulled by his desperate situation. At the end of the play, I sympathise with his with his despair and feel that it is a tragedy when he dies because of a feud in which he played no part. ...read more.

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