Shakespeare's Presentation of Romeo in Act 1

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Love, Characters in Romeo and Juliet Pages: 2 (473 words) Published: February 3, 2011
Shakespeare’s Presentation of Romeo in Act 1
Shakespeare presents Romeo at first through Benvolio and Montague, as a depressed young man, one who never wants to see the light of day again, a deeply saddened and troubled person suffering from the pain and torture of unrequited love. His unwillingness to talk to people, the tears that drip from his face and his desire to distance himself from everyone all plays in with the personality of someone who ‘adds to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs’. When Romeo first appears as a person, he appears to be a petrarchan lover who uses sonnets to express his emotions. This exaggerated use of language presents to us an adolescent and immature lover, who rather than being in love with the women herself, is fascinated by the thought and philosophy of love. He is also presented by Shakespeare as somebody who although he denies he was deluded by love, the ‘devout religion of mine eye’, has an infatuation of Rosaline rather than loving her. This shows his immaturity and insecurity of being a lover. Romeo’s personality is one of haughtiness in an awkward way, defying the truth about himself rather trying to hail himself as being a true lover, disregarding and overlooking Benvolio’s and Mercutio’s advice. Shakespeare also presents him as someone who has lost his intellect, enjoying being tortured and tormented by the pain of love, losing his reasoning and sacrificing himself for that one person, ‘Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires’. Romeo is as we discover, not satisfied by anything but Rosaline and this affects his mental well-being portraying to us as a hesitant and apprehensive youth, even though he knows this and portraying the same imagery to the audience; ‘Under love’s heavy burden do I sink’. When he meets Juliet his whole personality changes going from the jumpy adolescent youth to the calm true lover not just someone who’s in love with love itself and he realises this himself ‘Did my heart love...
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