Romeo and Juliet: Different Personalities and Enduring Love in Shakespeare’s Play
Sarah Dessen once wrote, “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” The concept of love at first sight is emphasized in the story of Romeo and Juliet. In this tragedy, Shakespeare portrays both Romeo and Juliet to be passionate and loyal towards one another, but Romeo is more impulsive, aggressive, and a bit of a coward whereas Juliet is more mature and shows courage. In the play of Romeo and Juliet, both characters show a different side of how they feel but also have similarities to how they approach love.
Romeo is a lovesick teenage boy in beginning of the play. “O, teach me how I should forget to think!” (I.i.219). He’s grieving over Rosaline, of how she didn’t love him back when he had proposed to her. Comparably, Romeo seemed impulsive when he meets Juliet. His words, “Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.” (I.v.104), trying to force a kiss. The way Romeo goes after Juliet shows his aggressive side. In the balcony scene Romeo interrupts Juliet’s thought, “Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptis’d;/Henceforth I never will be Romeo.” (II.ii.53-54), not caring that they are foes. He shows himself as a coward towards the end of the play, when he learns that Juliet is dead. He fears of being alone so he poisons himself. He kills himself because he is afraid of a life without her.
Juliet trusts her life and future to Romeo, “Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?” (III.ii.97). She pushes through with courage and refuses to believe the worst of him after he gets involved in a fight and kills her cousin, Tybalt. Her act of innocence and obedience becomes lost after falling in love with Romeo and she becomes more mature. “He shall not make me there a joyful bride!” (III.v.117). She is defiant against her parents’ marriage wishes to Paris.
Romeo and Juliet are passionate and loyal characters. The balcony scene, when Romeo asks Juliet to marry him, “It is too rash, too unadvis’d, too sudden.” (II.ii.122-124), even though she thinks it’s unwise she allows herself to be persuaded by Romeo. Thus, she allows her own and his feelings of passion to override her rational thoughts. Sadly, their rash, passionate decision to marry immediately helps lead to their deaths. Corresponding to Juliet’s loyalty towards Romeo, “But wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?” (III.ii.100). She’s doubting her anger at Romeo after learning he killed Tybalt. Romeo shows passion through his words. In the tomb with Juliet, as he takes the poison he says, “Eyes, look your last. /Arms, take your last embrace! And lips, O you/The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss/A dateless bargain to engrossed Death.” (V.iii.112-115). He’s killing himself because of the love he has for Juliet, because he can’t live without her. When Juliet wakes and finds Romeo dead, she does the same and kills herself because of how strong their love is.
In the event of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, their love is shown to be honorable and true. Their difference in personalities, circling around aggressiveness, impulsiveness, cowardice, courage, and maturity do not hesitate their love they carry for one another. Their love is true and succeeds with the devotion both characters hold.
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