Romeo Character Analysis

1120 words - 4 pages

"Romeo and Juliet" is a story of family life, friendship and true love. Romeo, whom which the story revovles around, experiences love at first sight on his first meeting with Juliet, the daughter of his rivalry family. From then, Romeo is taken into a long journey to overcome all the obstacles seperating him from Juliet, most of which are associated with the Capulet's relunctance for Juliet to mix with the Montague family. During the story, the reader learns much about Romeo's character and personality when he reacts under stressful situations throughout the story.

To understand Romeo and why he is heroic, listen very closely to his speech. The poetic language that Shakespeare uses for Romeo is the key to his character and the ideals that he represents. Though he can banter with Mercutio, Romeo is not a "good-time guy." He is much more soulful and speaks from his heart. The poetry of his speech reveals his sincerity, passion, and commitment. Love is Romeo's primary motivation and the driving force behind most of his actions. Even before he arrives onstage, Romeo is preceded by his reputation as a lover. Old Montague and Benvolio discuss Romeo and describe his odd behavior -- his tears, his sighs, his insomnia, and his nighttime wanderings. When he makes his appearance, Romeo explains what his problem is: he is lovesick.

"Romeo Ay me! Sad hours seem so long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
Benvolio It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?
Romeo Not having that which, having, makes them short.
Benvolio In love?
Romeo Out --
Benvolio Of love?
Romeo Out of her favor, where I am in love.
Benvolio Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!"

Why is Romeo so lovesick? It's because Rosaline, the current object of his affections doesn't return his feelings. He launches into a speech, that verifies his lovesickness, and more importantly gives insight into Romeo's character. He describes his love in a series of paradoxes: heavy lightness, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health. The most striking of these pairings are his couplings of "brawling love" and "loving hate"

These paradoxes serve two purposes. In the context of the plot, they demonstrate Romeo's confused state of mind. He seems to be speaking in riddles. How can love be described as brawling and juxtaposed (put things side by side) with hate? The language makes Romeo seem crazy, but simply put, "Is this love (for Rosaline) for real?"

The pairing of "brawling love, loving hate" stops the reader. Is there some truth about love in this contradiction? Romeo, who is motivated by love, is about to experience a whole new range of emotions in his love for Juliet. His new love exists alongside hatred, namely -- the brawling hatred between the Montagues and the Capulets.

"Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out."

Here Romeo refers to himself as "dull earth," a being that is lifeless and requires its center -- Juliet -- to feel alive....

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