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With close reference to the text explore Shakespeare's presentation of Romeo.

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With close reference to the text explore Shakespeare's presentation of Romeo. In Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', our first impression of Romeo is a sultry, moody courtly lover. We hear about him hiding in the woods. This may portray him as being weak and selfish; unable to confront his problems. But by the end of the play, it seems he may have matured considerably. He has a genuine reciprocated love for Juliet and this makes him strong and able to make decisions. Romeo feels that without his love, life is not worth living. In Act 1, Scene 2, Romeo reveals to Benvolio that 'sad hours seem long' and 'not having that which having makes them short' is what is depressing him, and sending him into gloomy temperament. We know he is talking about Rosaline. Before he meets Juliet, he is a courtly lover, only showing his affection from afar. He uses elaborate language to describe his 'love' for her. But because she is never seen in the play, we know she will not be a big part in his life for much longer. ...read more.


Sharing the lines of this sonnet accentuates the lovers' closeness and is also written in Iambic Pentameter. Shakespeare includes lots of religious imagery in his speech, which emphasises the spiritual nature of their love. This contrasts to Tybalt's harsh, aggressive language, such as 'What dares the slave' and 'To strike him dead I hold it not a sin'. The sonnet ends in a kiss between the lover. The language Romeo uses is very romantic. He says 'Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take'. The 'prayer's effect' is the kiss. In Act 2 Scene 5 Romeo doesn't give up on loving Juliet because she is a Capulet. This shows us that his love for her is genuine. He questions 'Is she a Capulet? O dear account! My life is my foe's debt'. Romeo hasn't matured much, because he takes action quickly, such as climbing the Capulet orchard walls to see Juliet, without thinking about the consequences. He still acts on emotion rather that common sense. Romeo refers to Juliet using the words 'stars', 'twinkle' and 'sun', although his language is basically less elaborate and fancy towards her. ...read more.


His language powerful and lacks artifice. He is going to kill himself, but thinks he is already dead without Juliet. He says he is 'by a dead man interred'. Anybody would sympathise with Romeo here, ignoring earlier judgements of him, because of the power of his love and grief. His decision to kill himself, is not made on impulse, but considered because he feels that he can no longer live without Juliet. Romeo says 'Come bitter conduct, come unsavoury guide. / The dashing rocks thy sea-sick bark.' Shakespeare is comparing Romeo's willpower to the pilot, and his body to the boat which is being steered onto the rocks of death. Shakespeare presents Romeo to us as an emotional, mood fluctuating teenager. However he does show character and maturity in his love for Juliet. His main strength is determination, and I think Romeo did gain sensibility and development towards the end of the play. I think the reciprocated love between Romeo and Juliet, made Romeo strong, and would have developed him into a clever, rational responsible adult. Therefore, I think Shakespeare wrote about Romeo in this way to make people think that, so it would be even more tragic and poignant when the lovers part in death. ...read more.

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