Romeo and Juliet

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A constant theme of infatuation progressively is displayed throughout Romeo and Juliet, starting with an innocent desire for true love, and ending in death. Romeo and Juliet are the main characters that display the obsession through dialogue. The first sign of infatuation began with Romeo. He claimed, “love, whose view is muffled still, should without eyes, see pathways to his will” (Shakespeare 20). Romeo is obsessed with the idea of love, and is convinced that love controls you. He ends up getting confused and makes statements about how love is “heavy and light”, “bright and dark”, “hot and cold,” (Shakespeare 20). These oxymoronic assertions show that Romeo is infatuated with the idea of love, even though he hasn’t even really experienced true love yet considering he is only a teenager. Going onto scene II, the infatuation progresses. Now Romeo and Juliet have met and fallen in love within a day. Juliet proclaims, “…if thou wilt not, be but sworn by my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (Shakespeare 80). The great desire for love has escalated to the point of pure infatuation. Romeo and Juliet already want to get married even though they have just met. This shows that they do not know of true love, but they are just strongly attracted to one another. In act 3, Juliet’s desire for Romeo intensifies, and she beings to go against the people she truly loves the most – like her mother, father, and the Nurse. She confuses genuine love with infatuation and chooses to be with Romeo instead of making the right choice and listening to her parents. Juliet says, “myself have power to die” (Shakespeare 206). She believes that killing herself would be better than being apart from Romeo. In act 4, she talks to the friar and once again brings up the idea that death would be more preferable than being away from her “true love.” She holds up a knife and says, “I long to die if what thou speak’st speak not of remedy” (Shakespeare 212). She is desperate in the face of infatuation and cannot handle her emotions. What started as a small desire for love worsened to the point of contemplating suicide. Finally in Act 5, the infatuation comes to an end when Romeo and Juliet kill themselves. Juliet “stabs herself with Romeo’s dagger and dies” (Shakespeare 274). This shows the highest level of infatuation considering that Romeo and Juliet did not truly know or love one another. Their ‘love’ began as a desire, heightened to marriage and inseparability, and finally spiraled to the point of suicide, which ultimately displays the bitter end of pure infatuation.

Soliloquies are frequently used throughout Romeo and Juliet and benefit the play, allowing the readers to better understand the plot by letting the character’s be more in depth with their dialogue. Soliloquies are spoken alone by a character and are not meant to be heard by others. Juliet allows the reader to know what is going to happen in Act 3, Scene 2 with her soliloquy. She allows the audience to know that she is going to lose her virginity to Romeo when she says, “…with thy black mantle, till strange love, grow bold, think true love acted simple modesty…” (Shakespeare 154). By expressing this soliloquy, Juliet reveals her true emotion towards the subject and lets the audience know more about Juliet’s perspective in the play. In act 4, scene 3, Juliet provides a soliloquy that reveals her panic to the audience. Juliet asks a lot of questions during her soliloquy. The amount of questions that she offers benefit the audience because it builds their curiosity about what will happen next. For example, when Juliet wonders, “what if it is poison that the friar subtly hath ministered to have me dead?” (Shakespeare 226), it allows the audience to wonder along with Juliet. Romeo presents another soliloquy in Act 5. He claims to have ‘dreamt [his] lady came and found [him] dead” (Shakespeare 248). This soliloquy benefits the play by providing foreshadowing of events that are...
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