Compare and contrast R & J's conversation. How are their attitudes to the situation different and what does it suggest about their characters?
The conversation is in act 2 scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet.
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The balcony scene is perhaps one of the most famous scenes in theatre.
By this time, Romeo and Juliet are on the same page. In Act I, scene 5, they meet. From their first words together, they click. Romeo starts a sonnet which includes an extended metaphor and Juliet picks up the second quatrain. Something magical has happened between them. These two young people have connected on a very deep level.
In Act II, scene 2, they are getting to know each other. Of the two, Juliet is the more practical. For example, she knows the danger he is in if he were to get caught. He is ready to die for her at that point.
When Juliet asks him how he found her, he replies that love led him to her. When he says that he will swear by the moon, a symbol of love, the more practical Juliet reminds him that the moon is changeable.
That they get married seems to them a foregone conclusion, it is only a question of when, how soon? Perhaps today we would call them soul mates.
You are referring to the famous balcony scene. Both Romeo and Juliet are in love with each other. They had just met at the dance earlier that night and were immediately attracted to each other. In this scene, though, we do see some differences. Juliet is more prudent. She is worried about Romeo being found in the Capulet orchard:
If they do see thee they will murder thee.
Juliet repeats this concern three times during this conversation. Romeo, however, is less cautious. His only concern is seeing Juliet.
Juliet is also more self-conscious. She is worried that she might seem too easy to Romeo and she is concerned that Romeo's professions of love may be false. Romeo, on the other hand, has no such concerns. He professes his love promptly and assertively, assuring Juliet that he will swear the truth of his love for her by anything she seems fitting.
Juliet is the one concerned about commitment and marriage. She is the one who encourages Romeo to marry her; she mentions marriage first. Romeo follows her lead and agrees to make arrangements.
So, what's interesting is that Juliet's focus is broader. She is the one who is concerned about her hostile kinsmen, Romeo's safety, marriage. She looks to the future. Romeo is more in the present, more single-focused: enraptured by Juliet's beauty and his newly developed love for her.
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