Defining Romeo in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

901 Words4 Pages
Defining Romeo in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies. It was written it about 1597 by William Shakespeare and was set in the northern Italian city of Verona. It is based on the long poem 'The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562)', by Arthur Brooke. In this essay I will analyse the changes in Romeo's character during Shakespeare's play. The first scene I will analyse is Act 1 Scene 1. In this scene Romeo is very unhappy about a girl named Rosaline. We can tell this by the language he uses. Romeo uses riddles and oxymoron's to suggest confusion about how he feels for Rosaline, e.g.: "Feather of lead". He is also wallowing in his own misery, as though he is enjoying being so miserable because he feels so in love with Rosaline, although he barely knows her. Romeo and Rosaline is an example of 'Courtly Love', which would have been around in the days of Shakespeare. Courtly Love was where the man fell in love with a woman of higher social class and she rejected him at first to save her honour and grace. This made the mans passion increase, and only his faith in god would keep him going. This is how Romeo and Rosalines relationship appears to be, as Romeo believes Rosaline does not like him. The next scene is Act 1 Scene 5. In this scene Romeo meets Juliet for the first time. He instantly falls madly in love with her. This shows how fickle his love for Rosaline was, he forgets about her the moment he sees Juliet. However this time his language is a lot different. He begins to talk of images of light and jewels whilst describing Juliet: "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright." In this scene he is now not fickle. The language he uses in the flirtatious sonnet (a poem usually about love) is more convincing because they are talking to each other and it shows that they do genuinely love each other, rather
Get Access