English Controlled Assessment: Romeo and Juliet
Today, the name 'Romeo' has come to mean the word 'love' because of his important role in the most famous love story. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tragedy mainly because of Romeo's character, which is what I will be writing about in this essay. We see Romeo as a sombre, impetuous and immature character in the early part of the play, but many aspects of his character seen in the early part of the play are not consistent as he does change a lot throughout the course of this play.
In Act 1 Scene 1, Romeo thinks of love as a negative feeling. He described it as ‘a choking gall' that can suffocate you slowly and ‘a madness most discreet' which is violent and destructive. This gives us the idea that love can kill you in the most painful way, really emphasising that love is forceful and destructive. He also describes it as ‘a smoke' suggesting that it can make people blind. The word ‘smoke' also implies that you won't think about anything except love as the smoke will mist all your thoughts apart from the love you feel, making you blind. He also feels that love is a ‘heavy burden'. The word ‘heavy' implies that love is forceful and will weigh you with stress and worry. He clearly compares the idea of love with darkness. However, this is not consistent as he compares Juliet to ‘a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear' later in the play, which presents Juliet as a bright light in the darkness. This contrast clearly shows that he is now thinking of love as something bright that can produce light in the darkest place, which is where Romeo has been earlier on in the play. He also describes love as ‘silver sweet' which contradicts the idea of love as a ‘heavy burden'. The word ‘silver' suggests love is something magical and light. This change in opinion happens immediately after seeing Juliet.
Romeo is also very secretive about his thoughts and feelings. He is 'but to himself so secret and so close' when he had fallen 'out of love' with Rosaline. This tells us that Romeo has seemed to detach himself from the outside world. The word 'close' tells us that he doesn't want anyone to have any idea about what he is distressing about. He has also not, until Act 1 Scene 1, told anyone-except for the Friar- about his love for Rosaline as Benvolio had to almost force the words out of him, which presents Romeo as a sombre character near the beginning of the play. This is consistent throughout the play because even after meeting Juliet he does not tell anyone about his feelings and love for her, apart from the Friar and the Nurse, which emphasises the point about his reserved attitude on his thoughts. However, since he was in love with Juliet, he was not presented as a sombre character later in the play.
Romeo is presented as an immature and self-pitying character in Act 1 Scene 1. He thinks he has 'lost myself, I am not here, this is not Romeo,'...