Explore the presentation of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet Essay

1272 WordsMar 4, 20096 Pages
The fate of Romeo Montague is predicted in the chorus of the play. The audience is immediately informed that Romeo and his love will “take their lives”, and thus they are immediately aware that a great ordeal will happen at some point in the play. However they are not informed of the dramatic changes that he will undertake as the play carries out its course. Romeo seems to be a rather complex character; a character of many layers. Is he the highly romantic soul we meet in Act 1? Or perhaps his darker side that he is forced to show later on has always been a part of him. I will be considering these possibilities as I explore Shakespeare’s presentation of Romeo. The opening scene of the play begins with a somewhat perverse conversation between two servants of the Capulet household. The two speak in this vulgar way of the Montagues and how they shall “thrust his maids to the wall.” This look into the boy’s conversation shows the large scale of hatred between the two families, leading up to the fight that erupts from simple teasing between the serving men. The fight is chaotic, which consequently paves the way to a charming introduction to the gentle-hearted Romeo. This young man is not a fighter; to him life is “much to do with hate, but more with love.” He is oppressed - but not as a consequence of the hostility that has just occurred. He is oppressed on account of the unrequited love he feels for Rosaline. In speaking of her he uses the word “love” several times. This is a highly strong emotion to describe a girl he doesn’t really know. To him, Rosaline is perfect; she is kind, wise and attractive. The only fault he finds in her is that she does not love him back. However Romeo proves to be a rather fickle character. Once urged by Mercutio to attend the Capulet’s party, Romeo looks for Rosaline, but instead shares a dance with the daughter of the Lord - Juliet.

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