Romeo and Juliet

Is it a State of Love or a State of Confusion?
11-4-98
Period 1

Shakespeare portrays Romeo, as a confused love struck man, in his play Romeo and Juliet. Romeo falls in love easily which leads one to think if he is truly capable of love. Romeo falls in love with two people in this play. The first person he falls in love with is Rosaline, a woman. He hardly knows Rosaline, maybe just seeing her once or twice, yet allows her rejection to tear him up inside. Is Romeo torn up inside or is he just acting? Romeo is so dramatic when he is first met that one might think him to be acting. Dramatically stating ‘...I have lost myself; I am not here’(I.i.197) Romeo seems to be taking his grieving too far. In addition "shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,/ and makes himself an artificial night" (I.i.134,135), these actions are too far to take rejection from one girl who he had only puppy love for. In any case, Romeo always talks positively about Rosaline, saying ‘she is rich in beauty’(I.i.216), showing his respect for women. In this ‘love’ Shakespeare has Romeo talking in oxymoron’s showing that he is obviously confused and unstable. The confusion that Romeo feels is due to his, without a doubt, cold rejection from one of his loves. Romeo then falls in love with a young girl named Juliet. Juliet is a sweet, pretty girl. He sees her and it is love at first sight; ‘She doth teach the torches to burn bright’ (I.v.44), shows his great admiration. In this case he also talks positively about his love, but the difference is that he is not talking in oxymoron’s but in a sonnet showing this love is true and meant to be. Even though the way he talks says that Romeo is truly in love with Juliet, yet how can one be sure with the way he felt for Rosaline before. Shakespeare was cleaver in writing in oxymoron’s to show Romeo’s confusion and in sonnets and clear forms of poetry to show his clear mind and true love. The question is, is Romeo in love both times, one time, or not at all?

After his great love with Rosaline that caused so much pain, Romeo immediately falls in love with Juliet. Benvolio takes Romeo to a party to get over Rosaline, who he thinks he can never get over, then seeing Juliet never thinks of Rosaline a second more. How can someone who is in heart-stricken love one second not even remember the persons name the next. ‘Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight!/ For I never saw a true beauty till this night’ (I.v.52,53) Romeo unconsciously states about Juliet yet he swore his was in love with Rosaline. Since he now realizes that he was never in love with Rosaline how can he be sure to be in love with Juliet? He could have been that same way about Rosaline at first and then after she rejected him he could have changed his state of mind and view of love. It seems that Romeo was never in love with Rosaline because he did not know what love was but now that he sees Juliet it is in his cards that this is truly love. Saying that before he was a boy with puppy love and now a man with true love directly from his heart. Romeo now knows love to the fullest and gives himself to Juliet.