romeo and juliet play book character analysis

Romeo plays a big part in the play/book Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In the beginning of the play, Romeo is obsessed with Rosaline, the love of his life. He spends most of his time sighing over his depressing and nonexistent love life. Romeo is first mentioned as an aimless wanderer, preoccupied with thoughts of Rosaline. His father describes his doleful manner: “Many a morning hath he been there seen/ with tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew/ Adding clouds to more clouds with his deep sighs” (I, i, 157-9). His family goes on to discuss what could be wrong with the young man.

Such passivity in his approach to love with Rosaline is a theme that recurs until he meets Juliet. Rosaline is Romeo’s obsession he wants nothing to do with anyone els When describing her to the Benvolio, Romeo’s descriptions are vague and generalized, referencing Rosaline’s physical beauty and attractiveness. Rather than stating why he loves her or offering specifics examples of her uniqueness, he curses the unfairness of love and beauty “Show me a mistress that is passing fair, what doth her beauty serve, but as a note/ Where I may read who passed that passing fair” (I, i, 234-6).

Unlike the personal connection he later expresses for Juliet, this utterance simply reflects regret for Rosaline’s vow of chastity. Throughout this play, Romeo’s relationship with Rosaline is passive. He never speaks to her or takes any decisive action to get his love. He spends his time in anguish, wavering between simplistic adulation and utter despair. Romeo spends a great deal of time thinking about a woman who does not feel his feelings. Despite Benvolio’s urging, the lovesick teen will not move on or consider the merits of other women.

Romeo goes to a party hosted by the capuletes isolates himself from the merrymaking both socially and physically in his refusal to dance and banter with Mercutio. Romeo spends his time, not pursuing Rosaline, but despairing: “Under Love’s heavy burden I do sink” (I, IV, 22). Romeo then Pursued Juliet Despite Romeo’s great love for Rosaline, his feelings are actually fleeting, as shown by his behavior when he catches a glance of Juliet. He is amazed at first sight, describing her as “Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! (I, v, 49). Rather than objectifying Juliet as he does with Rosaline, he holds Juliet in reverent awe, “Did my heart love till now? For swear it, sight for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night (I, v54-5). With this, Rosaline is forgotten and Juliet becomes Romeo’s focal point. Romeo actively pursues Juliet from the beginning. Upon meeting, he tries to win a kiss.

Despite learning Juliet’s identity as a Capulet, Romeo ignores the feud and commits himself to Juliet. When Juliet asks “Art thou not Romeo and Montague? (II, ii 60), Romeo pledges to deny his name to be with his new love and says, “My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself/ because it is an enemy to thee” (II, ii, 55-6). Realizing that their interest in each other is both mutral and sincere, Romeo presses Juliet for vows of love. After they agree to get married, Romeo rushes to Friar Lawrence to ask him to marry the young couple. To a surprised Lawrence, Romeo says that he has forgotten Rosaline and “That name’s woe” (II, iii 46). At this point in the play, Romeo and Juliet have only just met and Romeo is already taking steps to ensure their union.

No such intentions for Rosaline are expressed or pursued. Romeo and Juliet’s Relationship Becomes More Complex After marrying, Romeo’s relationship with Juliet becomes even complex and involves many changes. An important moment occurs when Romeo encounters his old enemy Tybalt, who he is now related to by marriage. The impulsive Romeo attempts to restrain himself in the face of Tybalt’s taunting, because he considers the new connection that they share. Unfortunately, Romeo eventually responds to Tybalt’s challenge and kills him in a fight. Romeo was then banished.

When he found out that Juliet was dead Romeo was devastated and immediately decides that there is no reason he should be alive. Romeo finds Juliet’s seemingly lifeless body in the tomb. Then romeo kills him self by drinking a poison. Romeo truly is a tragic and romantic figure. However, he begins as a young man entangled in his own love. His interest in Rosaline is fleeting, passive, and non excitant. It is through his relationship with Juliet that Romeo becomes a more active character who is capable of being involved in a complex romantic relationship.

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