Romeo and Juliet character revision

  • Created by: TessBlyth
  • Created on: 05-11-18 19:48

Romeo

Adjectives to describe the character: 

Fickle, lovesick, infatuated, mopey, ideoloistic, romantic, determined, Pertrachan lover, juvenille, loyal, vengeful, sorrowful, poetic, impulsive, dramatic, foolish, sentimental, noble, young, emotional, irrational, brave.

How he evolves: 

At the beginning of the play: Romeo is lovesick due to his unrequited love for Rosaline. He is upset and hyperbolises his situation, his infatuation has left him unsociable and in sombre spirits. He is indulged by Benvolio but mocked by Mercutio.

At the Capulet ball, Romeo meets Juliet for the first time and has suddenly forgotten about his sorrow in an instant - demonstrating his fickle nature. He confesses his new-profound love for her and becomes determined to pursue a relationship and of course, marriage.

As the play progresses, he is presented as unwilling to partake in violence and conflict. But after Mercutio's death he becomes vengeful and loses all self-control, consequently killing Tybalt which has damaging repercussions (exile). A chain of events following this ultimately lead to his demise.

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Benvolio

Adjectives to describe the character:

Rational, logical, level-headed, practical, pacifistic, noble, sensible, loyal, moral, good friend, kind, selfless, persuasive, considerate, a confidant and counsel (to his friends), demanding, peaceful, cautious, wise, reasonable, calm and collected.

How the character evolves: 

At the beginning of the play: Benvolio acts as the peacekeeper - as the feud breaks out, he attempts to prevent the brawl escalating to something much worse by being pacifistic and stopping the violence. Although, when provoked and mocked by Tybalt, he does in fact participate among the other civillians.

When Benvolio sees Romeo, he acts as his counsel - adhering to his needs as an infatuated lover. He attempts to cajole Romeo out of his sombe spirits by distracting his mind from his unrequited love. He persuades him to attend the Capulet ball and ultimately acts as a catalyst for the plot. 

Although Benvolio remains more or less the same throughout the play, as conflicts rise, he becomes more persuasive - it becomes his responsibility to defend his friends at a time of crisis.

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Mercutio

Words to describe the character:

Flamboyant, mocking, impulsive, loyal, vengeful, witty, humourous, imaginative, realistic, unpredictable, devoted, neutral, mercurial, dirty, sexual, derogatory, obscure, gallant, brave, determined, vivacious, uncensored, hot-tempered.

Character's importance to the play as a whole: 

Acts as a catalyst for the plot - Mercutio is the one who persuaded Romeo to attend the Capulet ball where he first meets Juliet and falls in love. by acting as Romeo's confidant, he ultimately brings the starr cross'd lovers together.

His death - The death of Mercutio in Act 3 Scene 1 leads to a chain of events that lead to Romeo and Juliet's inevitable death. His death creates Romeo's newly-entertained revenge and fury which compells him to kill Tybaly. Consequently, Romeo is exiled and the events that follow result in the star crossed lovers' deaths.

Views of love - Mercutio has a realistic outlook on love that opposes society's Pertrarchan ideologies (and the likes of Romeo). This allows his character to stand out from the rest and presents him as the antithesis to Romeo, as they have very conflicting views.

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Lord Capulet

Adjectives to describe the character: 

Noble, authoritative, wealthy, sociable, commanding, declarative, protective, tyrannous, flattering, self-conscious, traditional, powerful, short-tempered, spiteful, vengeful, loyal, strict, hospitable, dominant, considerate ,entertaining, fiery, domineering.

How the charater evolves:

At the beginning of the play, Capulet is very considerate of Juliet's feelings and appears to be a protective and loving father. Despite tradition, Capulet doesn't believe Juliet is ready for marriage and postpones Paris's proposal for 2 years. He is also presented as hospitable and sociable as he holds a ball at his household and does not hesitate to entertain his guests.

As the play progresses, Capulet's outlook towards the marriage alters. He is infuriated by Juliet's defiance (as she declines Paris's proposal) and asserts his power over her as her superior and father by providing an ultimatum. His outrage leaves him at a loss for words and his motives become violent, this contrasts his previous attitude towards his daughter and her feelings. This is the last interaction we see between Capulet and Juliet before she dies, and their relationship is left fractured, with arguments that are unresolved.

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Juliet

Adjectives to describe the character:

Naive, precocious, beautiful, young, foolish, loyal, passionate, intelligent, obedient, desperate, timid, wealthy, foolish, sheltered, independent, innocent, daring, immature, trusting, impatient, starry-eyed, stubborn, impetuous, afraid, flirty, isolated, trapped, anxious, untraditional.

How does the character evolve: At the beginning of the play, Juliet is presented as a precocious, despite her youth - she keeps up with Romeo's attempt at flirting which is littered with religious innuendo. At the same time, she opposes expectations and does not conform to the stereotypes of a courty lover, she falls instantly in love with Romeo and is determined to further their relationship (with intentions of marriage).

Juliet's love for Romeo makes her impetuous and blind to the repercussions of her actions. Their relationship blossoms too soon and allows them to become devoured by love for each other. Juliet's foolishness could be blamed on her youth and naivety. 

As the play progresses, Juliet becomes desperate and isolated. Her life ultimately falls apart after Romeo's exile, which acts a catalyst for her death. When Juliet is forced to marry Paris, she believes her only option is to die, losing all consciousness of herself, and with noone to turn to, this is fulfilled.

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Lady Capulet

Adjectives to describe the character:

Cold, unsympathetic, loyal, subervient, traditional, obedient, impatient, unemotional, authoritative, demanding, belittling, vengeful, unforgiving, hysterical, Elizabethan, courtly lover, selfish, sorrowful, unknowing, formal, insensitive, noble, afraid. 

How the character evolves:At the beginning of the play, Lady Capulet is presented as an unemotional mother who does not have an intimate relationship with her daughter. She relies on the Nurse's counsel and presence when with Juliet, who has a much closer relationship with her, as Lady Capulet is unable to connect with Juliet on her own. 

Throughout the play, Shakespeare demonstrates Lady Capulet's subervience and loyalty to Lord Capulet, who she appears to be afraid of. This presents the expectations of a traditional Elizabethan woman by which she conforms to. She obeys his orders and sides with him over all matters, especially one's concerning Juliet. 

Near the end of the play, we see Lady Capulet's growing hysteria and vengefulness. She demands justice/revenge after Tybalt is slain and fails to empathise, showing no sings of forgiveness that is upheld till the very end.

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Tybalt

Adjectives to describe the character:

Violent, vengeful, fiery, angry, short-tempered, determined, loyal, provocative, cocky, aggressive, skilled, corageous, gallant, impetuous, persistent, confident, pessimistic, prepared, noble, strong-willed, argumentative, passionate, unforgiving, disobedient, protective, proud, inferior

Character's importance to the play as a whole:Represents the depth of the 'ancient grudge' - Tybalt possesses a strong hatred towards all Montagues and is always prepared to fight to defend his loyalty to the Capulets. Tybalt is important in representing the emnity between either household that fuels his rage and desire for violence.

Acts as a plot driver - Tybalt's murder of Mercutio is what fuels Romeo's rage and forms his newly-entertained revenge that leads him to kill Tybalt consequently. A chain of events leading to the downfall of Romeo and Juliet essentially begins from there, the tragedy of the play would not be evident without Tybalt.

Conflict - within the play, Tybalt is one of the main enemies to Romeo and the Montagues. He provides the play with the majority of conflict that takes place, which is one of the play's major themes.  Tybalt's persistent eagerness for violence causes multiple dilemmas within the narrative.

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