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Romeo and Juliet

  • Date Submitted: 12/10/2012 03:26 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.3 
  • Words: 303
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Of the many tragic heroes of Shakespeare, Romeo continues to exercise a peculiar fascination over the minds of young men and women. He stands out as the emblem of youthful love, its disappointment, and its possibility for tragedy.

Romeo is the only son of Lord Montague, the head of a reputed and rich family of Verona that is plagued by its longstanding feud with the Capulet family. In Act 1 Scene 1 we see Romeo moping around playing at being the dejected lover who has been denied by a cold, hard-hearted woman. It's a bit of a charade, part of the way the flirting game was played in those days. He doesn't feel all that strongly about Rosaline.Romeo is really in love with the idea of love. When he does not receive love in return, he grows melancholy and brooding. Even his friend Benvolio cannot distract him.

At the Capulet dance, Romeo meets the beautiful Juliet. Rosaline is quickly forgotten, and Romeo is transformed from a brooding youth that talks about love to a young man who is capable of quick, decisive action. In truth, “the gentle lamb” turns into a “passionate lover”. Romeo’s deep feelings for Juliet, who ironically and tragically is a Capulet, are very different from the shallow love he has felt for other woman, including Rosaline. This genuine love makes him bold, and he is prepared to take any risk for Juliet. He bravely goes into her garden after the party, even though he chances being caught and punished. His risk is repaid when he hears Juliet express her love for him as well. They pledge themselves to one another and make plans to marry the next day. FriarLawrence performs the marriage ceremony for the couple, hoping in so doing to unite their two families.


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