According to Benvolio in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how might Romeo alter his mood? How does Romeo react to Benvolio's suggestion?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question seems to refer to the conversation between Romeo and Benvolio in the first scene of the play. Romeo is devastated by his unrequited love for Rosaline, who, he says, has not only refused to return his love, but is entirely "foresworn to love." In other words, she swore to "remain chaste" and never to take a lover or marry a man. Romeo is devastated, and describes himself as essentially a dead man due to her decision. Benvolio's advice is to "forget to think of her" and to give "liberty unto thine eyes. . . think of other beauties." He is essentially saying what many people have said to their heartbroken friends: there are plenty of fish in the sea, and Romeo will find another love. He is right, of course, and he is actually instrumental in Romeo's decision to attend the fateful Capulet family masque, where Romeo and Juliet meet. At the time Benvolio gives Romeo this advice, however, Romeo says he will never find another woman as fair as Rosaline, and that to look at other beauties will only cause him to recall her. He cannot, he says, forget Rosaline.

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Romeo and Juliet

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