Romeo’s Impulsiveness in Romeo and Juliet

February 19, 2019 by Essay Writer

In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet are doomed from the start, and the audience is aware of this from the prologue. “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.” Romeo has an impulsive disposition that guides his actions throughout the play and eventually leads to him take his own life.

Romeo shows impulsiveness in several instances in Romeo and Juliet, for example when he sees Juliet for the first time at the Capulet party. As soon as he sees Juliet, he pleads, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight! / For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” (I.V. 50-51) Romeo says all of this almost immediately after swearing that Rosaline is the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and that Rosaline was his one and only true love. If he wouldn’t have ever been drawn in my Juliet’s beauty, he would’ve never been through everything that happens in the play. Also, when Romeo jumps the Capulet’s fence, Juliet demands that Romeo leave before her parents find him. He says to her, “With love’s light wings did I o’perch these walls/ for stony limits cannot hold love out, / therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.” (II.ii.66-69). Romeo doesn’t care if Juliet’s guards hurt him. Even though he could have easily died right then and there if the Capulets would’ve caught him, he wanted to be with Juliet.

Romeo also shows that he is impulsive when he begs Friar Laurence to marry him to Juliet. He cries out, “My heart’s clear love is set on the fair daughter of rich Capulet as mine on hers, so hers is set on mine and all combined, save what thou must combine by holy marriage.” (II.iii. 57-61) After only a very short time of knowing Juliet, he wants to marry her. Friar Laurence takes Romeo’s desperate begging as a farce and marries them. Soon after, Friar says to Romeo, “Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast.” (II.iii. 94). This is a warning to Romeo that those who speed too fast will stumble and fall, comparing this to Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Friar saying that those who run fast will stumble and fall foreshadows that Romeo may stumble and fall since Romeo and Juliet are taking their relationship very quickly.

Finally, when Friar marries Romeo and Juliet, he says to them “These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder… the sweetest honey is loathsome in it’s own deliciousness.” (II.vi. 9-12). This quote shows major foreshadowing to not only Romeo but Juliet’s death as well. Friar is saying that a lot of things that seem great at first have rapid endings, similar to Romeo and Juliet’s very hurried relationship.

Lastly, when Romeo he goes to the town apothecary, he begs, “The world affords no law to make thee rich. Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.” (V.i. 75-76) offering the apothecary money. Without giving it any thought, as soon as he hears of Juliet’s death, Romeo goes to an apothecary for a poison to kill himself. He doesn’t give any thought to his own life or future, proving that he truly doesn’t want to live at all without Juliet – but perhaps more significantly, that his impulsiveness eventually overcomes him.

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