Critical Lens Essay: Romeo and Juliet

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Vincent Horng
May 14, 2012

Critical Lens Essay: Romeo and Juliet

Duff Brenna once said, “All literature shows us the power of emotion. It is emotion, not reason, that motivates characters in literature.” In other words, in the world of literature, the power of emotion overpowers reason. Characters act according to how they feel and disregard reason by not thinking about the situation. This idea is clearly evident as illustrated in Romeo and Juliet through characterization in the work of William Shakespeare. One can see the power of emotions through the characterization of Romeo in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Throughout the story, Romeo never actually thinks about the consequences before he acts according to his emotion. Just like the quote, Romeo is completely dominated by his emotions of love to Juliet. In Act 1 Scene 5, as soon as he sees Juliet he instantly forgets about Rosaline. Not even twenty-four hours had passed and he went to the Friar Lawrence to marry them. Therefore Romeo’s reaction in the play supports the quote by displaying how he never thinks before he acts and only does things in the immediate moment according to how he feels. Conflict also proves the quote true by showing how Capulet and Montague’s emotions destroy others and their love ones. At first Romeo hates Tybalt but then changes heart because he was married to Juliet who was a Capulet. Tybalt’s fiery anger at Montague and Romeo’s vengeance of Mercutio’s death caused a brawl between them. If they had no emotion they would just be neutral and they wouldn’t have much conflict to drive their actions. Most likely Mercutio would not have died as well. Similar to their conflict Capulet and Montague had a long grudge about each other and since they dislike each other so much even members of their family hates the other. Their emotions for each other caused many tragedies even the death of Romeo and Juliet. If they haven’t disliked each other so much then Romeo and Juliet...
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