Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet Character analysis

Romeo plays a big part in the play/book Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In the beginning of the play, Romeo is obsessed with Rosaline, the love of his life. He spends most of his time sighing over his depressing and nonexistent love life.  Romeo is first mentioned as an aimless wanderer, preoccupied with thoughts of Rosaline.  His father describes his doleful manner: "Many a morning hath he been there seen/ with tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew/ Adding clouds to more clouds with his deep sighs" (I, i, 157-9).  His family goes on to discuss what could be wrong with the young man. Such passivity in his approach to love with Rosaline is a theme that recurs until he meets Juliet.

Rosaline is Romeo's obsession he wants nothing to do with anyone els When describing her to the Benvolio, Romeo's descriptions are vague and generalized, referencing Rosaline's physical beauty and attractiveness.  Rather than stating why he loves her or offering specifics examples of her uniqueness, he curses the unfairness of love and beauty "Show me a mistress that is passing fair, what doth her beauty serve, but as a note/ Where I may read who passed that passing fair" (I, i, 234-6).  Unlike the personal connection he later expresses for Juliet, this utterance simply reflects regret for Rosaline's vow of chastity.

Throughout this play, Romeo's relationship with Rosaline is passive.  He never speaks to her or takes any decisive action to get his love.  He spends his time in anguish, wavering between simplistic adulation and utter despair.  Romeo spends a great deal of time thinking about a woman who does not feel his feelings.  Despite Benvolio's urging, the lovesick teen will not move on or consider the merits of other women.

Romeo goes to a party hosted by the capuletes isolates himself from the merrymaking both socially and physically in his refusal to dance and banter with Mercutio.  Romeo spends his time, not...
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