Romeo and Juliet - Character Analysis of Romeo

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  • Romeo
    • Petrarchan Lover
      • His exaggerated language at the beginning of the play characterises him as a young, inexperienced lover.
        • His emphasis on the eyes accords with Romeo's role as a blind lover.
          • He denies how he could be deluded by the "religion" of the eye
            • This combined with the failure to take Benvolio's advice paints him as an immature lover.
        • As the narrative progresses he realises the artificiality of his love for Rosaline
          • When first seeing Juliet he describes how he "ne'er saw true beauty till this night"
          • As the play progresses his increasing maturity is marked by a change in his language
            • He starts to talk more in blank verse
              • This makes him sound less artificial and more natural
                • This change in language highlights how the love he feels towards Juliet is natural - unlike any of the love he has felt before
                  • He feels allthough their love is fate
        • He only has an immature image of love as he's never felt it wholly - until he meets Juliet and the love he has for her is reciprocated.
      • He's a man whose feelings of love aren't reciprocated.
        • This is predominantly shown through continuous use of poetic language and sonnets to express his lovelorn emotions.
    • Shakespeare's portrail of Romeo as a melencholy lover and then Juliets secret lover is significant
      • This portrail highlights how Romeo belongs in a world defined by love rather than a world fractured by feud.
        • This is shown in Act 3, Scene 1
          • The proposal of a brawl brings a conflict of ideology in Romeo
            • This conflict between the private world of his love with Juliet and the public world of the families feud.
              • "But love thee better than thou canst devise"
                • Romeo avoids having to fight with Tybalt
                  • Shakespeare has utilised dramatic irony
                    • The audience knows that Romeo is avoiding conflict because he doesn't want to fight Tybalt because they're related now Romeo is married to Juliet.
                      • But both Mercucio and Tybalt think he's being cowardly by avoiding the fight
          • Although Romeo doesn't want to fight he feels obliged to avenge Mercucio and so kills Tybalt
            • When Romeo had put his love before his concern for Mercucio, Mercucio was murdered
              • Therefore, after Mercucio's death, Romeo compound's the problem by placing his feelings of anger over any concern for Juliet and murder's Tybalt
                • This action allows the audience to see the immature side to Romeo come back
                  • Instead of alerting the authorities about Tybalt murdering Mercucio he decided to go after Tybalt himself
                    • This only resulted in Romeo being banished from the city
    • His immaturity is highlighted again when he learns of his banishment
      • He lies of the floor of the Friar's cell wailing over his fate
        • He then clumsily attempts to commit suicide
          • The Friar then reminds him to consider Juliet and chides him for not thinking through the consequences of his actions on his wife.
            • This rehitorrates the notion that the Frair is a paternal figure and close confidant to Romeo
    • After killing Paris he remoresefully fufils Paris' dying wish
      • He lays Paris' body next to Juliet's
        • Romeo notes that he and Paris are both victims of fate
          • "One writ with me in sour misfortune's back"
        • Romeo is filled with compassion as he knows Paris had died without understanding the true love he and Juliet shared
        • This decision may also further emphasise Romeo's immaturity in killing Paris
          • If he had enough respect for him to fulfil his dying wish then how could he have had enough respect towards Paris to kill him
    • When he receives the news of Juliet's death he exhibits maturity and composure as he resolves to die.
      • "Well Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight"
        • This maturity in this decision shows how he has been changed by the circumstances he has been put in
          • This is a change from the lovelorn, Petrarchan lover who was yearning over non- reciprocated love.

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