In the play Romeo and Juliet, multiple traits of many characters led to the tragic ending. Even though most of the characters contributed, Romeo arguably did the most harm. He was impulsive and lacked the ability to act in moderation. His puppy love for Rosaline developed into a more passionate love for Juliet, and he could not exercise restraint, especially when dealing with Juliet.
Romeo’s biggest shortcoming was his penchant for ill-advised, spontaneous decisions. This was apparent when he put his life at risk by sneaking into the Capulet’s garden just to pay a short visit to Juliet. If Romeo had exercised restraint or put more thought into his decision, he would have realized that his plan was too risky and would have come up with a superior one. Even Juliet knew the risks of Romeo’s actions; “And the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my kinsmen find thee here (2.1.64-65),” said ...view middle of the document...
Even though Romeo emerged victorious, his victory was short-lived. He was quickly banished from Verona by the Prince. Obviously, nothing good could come of either scenario. If Romeo was more cautious and thoughtful, he could have avoided killing his cousin-in-law and getting banished, which ultimately led to his death.
Perhaps Romeo’s most critical ill-advised action was his suicide immediately after learning about Juliet’s death. Even though he did not know for sure that Juliet was dead, Romeo immediately returned to Verona. This was extremely risky by itself, because the Prince had made it clear that Romeo could suffer a death punishment if he was spotted in Verona again. On the way, he spent an absurd quantity of money to purchase a vial of poison which he planned to take when in Juliet’s tomb. After Romeo arrived at the tomb and killed Paris, who was sprinkling flowers on Juliet’s motionless body, Romeo took the poison without a second thought. This event should have never happened: Friar Lawrence sent a message to Mantua via Friar John. Due to suspicion that Friar John had stayed at a plague-infected household, he was not allowed into Mantua. The message explained Friar Lawrence’s plan involving Juliet taking a potion to make her appear dead. Later, Romeo’s servant, Balthasar, arrived in Mantua bearing a message for Romeo: Juliet was dead. Although the Friar’s flawed plan represented the Friar’s thoughtlessness, Romeo could have saved himself and Juliet if he had exercised patience and restraint.
In the beginning of the book, Romeo was in love with a nun, Rosaline, who had taken a vow of chastity. Romeo was depressed because of Rosaline’s lack of feelings towards him. Even though Romeo was obsessively in love with Rosaline, his love was artificial. After learning of a party at the Capulets’ house, Romeo ignored the fact that the Capulets were his enemies and attended the party. At the party, he experienced a completely different kind of love. When Romeo saw Juliet, his feelings for Rosaline immediately faded. Romeo loved Juliet in a completely different way; their love was deeper and more complete than Romeo’s infatuation with Rosaline.