Transformation Of The Character In William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

1260 Words 6 Pages
Throughout the play, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare strengthens the character of Romeo through the consistency in his actions and emotions, building on the strong base of his character as established in the first act. Romeo is consistently characterised as an irrational, hasty and dramatic romantic. The situations in the play, as well as his emotional state and life stage, cause these characteristics to be pronounced and regular. In the beginning, Romeo’s love for Rosaline starts to develop the character traits we come to associate Romeo with, making his later actions with Juliet more rational and consistent for his personalty. Romeo’s character base allows for all that follows in the play to be believable as Romeo’s natural reaction, …show more content…
In act I, Romeo is moping around and shutting himself out leading his family puzzled as to the cause of his recent depression. Lord Capulet describes his son 's actions, “Away from light steals home my heavy son/And private in his chamber pens himself,/Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,” (I. i. 140-143). Clearly, Romeo is very depressed about something, which one later finds out is over his unrequited love for Rosaline. Through his actions one is able to see the dramatic and romantic side of Romeo, laying the initial foundation of his devoted character. When later talking to his kinsmen, Benvolio, Romeo describes the state of his mental well-being as a result of this unrequited love, “Tut, I have lost myself. I am not here./This is not Romeo. He is some other where,” ( I. i. 205-206). The viewer would now see the extent of Romeo’s devotion directly strengthening the characterization due to the building of a relationship and understanding with Romeo, rather than just through the words of other characters. One sees how Romeo’s love for Rosaline is so strong that without her, he feels he cannot exist. Without the love of Rosaline, there is no Romeo. This builds the characterization of Romeo’s melodramatic …show more content…
Romeo’s love for Juliet is dramatic and hasteful, as seen in his previous devotion to Rosaline. His actions later with Juliet help to continue to build and support Romeo’s characterization. Romeo’s actions with Juliet contradict his prior thoughts. For example, he says how Rosaline is the most beautiful woman and without her there is not beauty. While his words are contradictory to the prior thoughts he had about Rosaline, his actions stay consistent with his rash dramaticism. At the end of act I, Romeo attends Lord Capulet’s party and sees Juliet for the first time. When Romeo sees Juliet he says, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,/ For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night,” (I. i. 59-60) Before even speaking with Juliet, Romeo renounces his love for Rosaline and says how he has never loved until he saw Juliet. Romeo contradicts his words of Rosaline being the most beautiful being to ever exist and with her death, beauty will never exist again with his new proclamation of never seeing beauty until he say Juliet. Through this contradiction, the character development remains consistent with his previously developed traits. It supports the rashness and melodramaticism of Romeo by his instantaneous switch from undying love for Rosaline, to an undying love for Juliet. His previous character development allowed for this switch though to make sense, and not seem out of place for

Related Documents