Passion Verse Reason
The tragic play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is an icon in literature around the world. It is the story of two young people who fall hopelessly in love, and how that love ultimately leads to their untimely deaths. Is it their fate, or the consequence of their actions? Some people believe their deaths are due simply to reasoning, but I deem it to be the passion Romeo and Juliet shared for one another that was their downfall. Romeo and Juliet act in spurts of passion, or on impulse instead of evaluating the situation they are in. Their entire relationship is completely rushed, from their first encounter, on a late Sunday evening, to getting married the next day, to sacrificing their lives for one another by that Thursday evening; the pace is overwhelming for anyone, especially young teenagers. Juliet is already exhibiting erratic behavior in Act 4 when she proclaims: “Oh, look! Methinks I see my cousin’s ghost seeking out Romeo that did spit his body upon a rapier’s point. Stay, Tybalt, stay! Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee” (4.3.56-59). Juliet is conflicted on whether to drink the potion offered to her by Friar Lawrence in order to avoid being married off to Paris, because she thinks the vile might be real poison. Her consuming love for Romeo eventually drives her to drink the potion. Some might argue that Juliet’s reasoning makes her choose to drink the potion, because at one point she considers that it may actually be poison, but then decides that the Friar would not poison her because he is a holy man. If Juliet is truly being reasonable, she would not choose to possibly poison herself for someone she has only known for a couple of days.
Juliet also shows great passion for Romeo as she waits for him in her bedroom. She acclaims: “Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night, give me my Romeo. And when I shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars…” (3.2.20-23). Thoughts such as...
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