In Act I of Romeo and Juliet, what are three quotes that characterize Romeo? 

2 Answers | Add Yours

troutmiller's profile pic

troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

In Act I Romeo mostly shows his "lovesick" quality.  That defines him most of Act I.  When speaking of Rosaline's beauty and comparing her to others, he says to Benvolio,

"One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun."

Then on his way to the Capulet party in scene 4, he tells the guys that he will go, but his heart is too heavy for him to dance and have a good time.

"you have dancing shoes
With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move."

Then in scene 5 we see Romeo's tragic flaw.  He shows how rash he can be.  As soon as he sees Juliet, he says,

"Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."

mercut1469's profile pic

mercut1469 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

In Act I of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is characterized as spoiled, introspective, and impetuous. As the son of the wealthy Montague family, Romeo is the product of privilege. When his love is spurned by a woman named Rosaline, he sulks and withdraws from society. He is a spoiled child who has had very little experience with rejection. He expresses this somewhat infantile behavior in his rant to Benvolio in Act I, Scene 1. He is outraged Rosaline refuses his advances and claims she refuses to be in love:

She’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit,
And, in strong proof of chastity well armed,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide th’ encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.
O, she is rich in beauty, only poor
That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
Judging by his reaction to Rosaline's dismissal of his love, Romeo could also be considered brooding and introspective. His father reports that he spends much time alone, either walking in the woods or locked in the darkness of his room. When both Benvolio and Mercutio attempt to cheer him up, he dwells on the negative. In an excellent pun on the homophone soul/sole, Romeo stays true to his depressed state in Act I, Scene 4:
You have dancing shoes
With nimble soles. I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
Later in that scene Romeo, in an aside, talks of a dream. It seems to predict his death and is obviously the product of a mind which takes itself very seriously, and seems quite out of character for a young man who is just embarking on life:
I fear too early, for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels, and expire the term
Of a despisèd life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
In the next scene at Capulet's party, Romeo firmly establishes himself as impetuous and mercurial. After complaining through most of Act I that Rosaline is the only girl for him, he completely forgets her within about five seconds when he sees Juliet across the room. Whereas Rosaline makes Romeo's world dark and depressing, Juliet instantly illuminates his life and love:
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear—
Beauty too rich for use, for Earth too dear.
That Juliet is truly his soulmate has often been debated by critics. Even Friar Laurence suggests that Romeo's love for Juliet is a probably just a product of lust. The following Acts, however, prove that, while Romeo was initially impetuous in his affection, his bond grows stronger over the course of the play, as he is willing to do whatever it takes to be with his love. 

We’ve answered 317,506 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question