In the first act, Benvolio asks Romeo what's wrong with him, and Romeo says he is "Out of her favor, where I am in love" (1.1.161). Romeo is referring to Rosaline, the girl Romeo loves, that doesn't love him back. Then Benvolio sympathizes, saying "Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, / Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!" (1.1.162-163),which means love can look so good, but be so bad when experienced. Then Romeo talks about a series of kinds of love he is experiencing. In today's language we would call it a hopeless crush. Romeo finally concludes saying "This love feel I, that feel no love in this" (1.1.175), which means that he feels love, but is not in love with being in love.
Romeo reels off some more paradoxes about love, then concludes with one about his feelings: "This love feel I, that feel no love in this" (1.1.182-183), which means that he feels love, but is not in love with being in love. He also suspects he's a fool for being such a fool for love, and asks Benvolio, "Dost thou not laugh?" (1.1.182-183). Benvolio, however, is understanding and says he grieves for Romeo's unhappy state. Benvolio's grief for him only adds to Romeo's burden; he's not only unhappy, he's responsible for Benvolio's unhappiness. Romeo says, "This love [i.e., brotherly love for Romeo] that thou hast shown / Doth add more grief to too much of mine own." (1.1.188-189). Nevertheless, Romeo adds more paradoxes to his list. He says love is the smoke made of sighs, and when the smoke is cleared away, it's a fire in a lover's eyes. It's a stormy sea of tears. It's a sane insanity. It's a bitter poison and a sweet medicine. [Scene Summary]
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