Haste and It’s Influences in Romeo and Juliet
In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, haste is a large factor that contributes to the tragedy of the play. In many places, Romeo acts very hastily with decisions having to do with marriage with Juliet. However, the character most responsible for the tragedy of the play is Mercutio. His hasty behavior having to do with fighting Tybalt in acts two and three most influences the tragedy in Romeo and Juliet. Haste helps Shakespeare communicate his point on why making hasty decisions can have a negative outcome for someone.
Romeo’s hasty acts range from killing a murderer to taking part in a full-fledged marriage. His first wrong turn takes place in act two, scene one after the Capulet’s party. Romeo contemplates whether he should go home and sleep, or sneak on to Capulet’s property to possibly talk to Juliet. Romeo thinks “Can I go forward when my heart is here? Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out” (Shakespeare 2.1.1-2) and climbs up some rocks into the Capulet’s orchard. Benvolio and Mercutio then look for him and without finding him, go home. This is a hasty decision because he decided to put his life in risk for somebody he has only known for a couple of hours. His second hasty decision takes place in the orchard when he is talking to Juliet. Juliet questions him about marriage, but then bounces back on herself possibly realizing that things might not go so well if they do get married. Although somewhat aware of the risks, Romeo swears: “Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow, that tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops” (Shakespeare 2.2.107-108). So, Romeo vows to marry Juliet and Juliet vise versa after knowing each other after three hours of knowing each other, young love at its purest. This unconfirmed plan for marriage will contribute to the tragedy later in the play. In its peak, it will tear a family apart and confuse a very saddened Paris. Mercutio’s hasty decisions start in act two, scene three...
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