We just finished reading the play Romeo and Juliet by William
Shakespeare. In this play we are introduced to the tragic story of their
forbidden “love” which ultimately leads to their deaths. Although Romeo and
Juliet is considered to be a timeless love story, I find Romeo to be too
immature for this to be so.
When we are first introduced to Romeo, he is involved with a girl by
the name of Rosaline. Benvolio inquired about Romeo’s situation with her to
see if she was the cause for his melancholiness, when he discovered she was, he
advised him to forget her and move on to another girl.
“Tut man, one fire burns out another’s burning;
One pain is lessened by another’s anguish.
Turn giddy, and be helped by backward turning.
One desperate grief cures with another’s languish.
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.”
Romeo takes the advise Benvolio offered, and not another word about loving
Rosaline is spoken.
On the same day, Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio went to the Capulet’s
party dressed in masks so their identities wouldn’t be known. At the party,
Romeo saw a beautiful girl dancing with Paris and instantly fell in love with
her. He asked a servingman what her name was but he didn’t know.
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear-
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forsweare it, sight,
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”
I find this hard to believe that Romeo could instantly fall in love
with Juliet by her looks alone. Even harder to believe, is that if he was
truly in love with Rosaline, he wouldn’t have been able to drop her like a bad
habit and and go looking for a new girlfriend the same night. If he were truly
in love with Rosaline, he would have been crushed, torn and distraught over
their breakup and wouldn’t have gone out looking for other girls. Romeo was in
love with being in love, he had to have a girlfriend who he could say meant the
world to him.
The friar thought that Romeo’s actions were inconsistent with how he
should have been acting. The Friar found it hard to believe that Romeo was in
love with Juliet. He thought that Rosaline was his love, and when he
discovered that Romeo had dropped her and then decided to marry Juliet all in
the same day, he thought Romeo was shallow.
“Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
Hath washed thy shallow cheeks for Rosaline!”
The Friar did not believe that Romeo was really in love, he married them in
hopes of ending the feud, not for love.Romeo was not in love with
Juliet, but rather, he was infatuated by her beauty, and it overcame his
ability to reason due to his immaturity. Love, is an immense caring for
another which is acquired over time. Infatuation, is an immediate sexual
attraction to another person that can turn into love, if given the time. So in
the end, Romeo’s hasty actions were due to his infatuation with Juliet, not his
love for her. This is evident because he didn’t have any time to find out who
she was on the inside, all he had to base his actions on, was her looks.