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Point out how love is sprung from Romeo's and Juliet's hearts in their very first...

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sandali | Student, Grade 11 | Salutatorian

Posted November 6, 2009 at 5:07 PM via web

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Point out how love is sprung from Romeo's and Juliet's hearts in their very first meeting in Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet.

Please include some quotations and also some explanations about the quotations if possible.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 6, 2009 at 10:12 PM (Answer #1)

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When Romeo and Juliet first meet in the scene you mention, it is love at first sight.

When Romeo first spots Juliet, he forgets all about Rosaline.  He starts talking about how beautiful she is "a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear" and how she stands out from all the other women in the room like " a snowy dove trooping among crows."  Finally he concludes that "I ne'er saw true beauty until tonight."  This is all pretty straightforward in meaning.  He is totally fascinated by her beauty.

I hope that's what you meant by your question.

When they meet, Juliet is just as taken with Romeo.  Their first words to each other form a sonnet where they start talking immediately about touching hands and kissing, which seems quite bold.

The words they speak to each other are also meant to show how holy their love is (because they put it in so many religious terms about saints and prayer).

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 8, 2009 at 11:20 AM (Answer #2)

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As part of the theme of fate, the electrically charged meeting of Romeo and Juliet and the impetuousness of Romeo's actions underscore this theme.  The quitessential Romantic in love--as his very name suggests--Romeo wallows in self-woe until he sees Juliet.  That she is in the forbidden "camp" of the Capulets makes her all the more enticing.  That she is also so young, is also a forbidden attraction for Romeo.  Perhaps, as Benvolio has suggested, Romeo has

with unattainted eye/Compare[d] her face with some...(I,iii,78-79)

Likewise, Juliet is seeking a distraction from thoughts of another:  her nurse has recently asked her if she can consider Count Paris.  Juliet has replied,

I'll look to like, if looking liking move./But no more deep will I endart mine eye/Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.  (I,iii, 67-69)

And, so, it seems that both Romeo and Juliet "are looking for love" as they seek distractions from the romantic troubles in which they presently find themselves.  Even so, there is a subtle suggestion that Juliet would not have encouraged Romeo much; he is, rather, forward in his advances and Juliet admonishes him,

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,/Which mannerly devotion shows in this;/For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,/And palm to palm is holy palmer's kiss. (I,v,92-95)

Then, in the next scene, as Juliet longing says his name in a state of infatuation that is tempered by her knowledge that he is a Montague, Romeo appears and again impetuously declares his love.  To this the more cautious Juliet replies,

How cames thou hither,...and wherefore?/The orchard walls are...the place death, considering who thou art (II,ii,62-64)

She further cautions him to "swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon" (II,ii,109); While Juliet fears that their love may not last, she does not yet feel the influence of fate as does Romeo who remarks,

Oh, blessed, blessed night! I am afeard./Being in night, all this is but a dream./Too flattering-sweet to be substantial. (II,ii,139-141)

Romeo senses fate, but he impetuously allows himself to be drawn to Juliet by his impulsive desires.  Similarly, Juliet who declares,

My only love sprung from my only hate!/Too early seen unknown, and known too late!/Prodigious birth of love it is to me,/That I must love a loathed enemy (I,v,133-136) 

senses fate, but is drawn to Romeo in a "star-crossed" love.

 

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