What are 3 major traits of Romeo during Act 1?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator
  • Lovesick- In the beginning of the play, Romeo is infatuated, but not with Juliet. His heart at first belongs to Rosaline, but she does not seem to reciprocate the feeling. As a result, he is mopey, depressed, and acting in all ways like a heartbroken teenager. He goes out walking near the woods before dawn. If anyone sees him, he runs away into the woods to avoid having company. When the sun comes up, he returns home, retreats into his bedroom, and won't come out. After his parents complain, Benvolio agrees to try & cheer him up.
  • Superstitious- Although Romeo lightens up a bit when surrounded by his friends, he still feels a foreboding upon arriving at the party. Mercutio has lived up to his character and provided rich entertainment in his Queen Mab monologue, which rouse Romeo a bit, but when they arrive at the Capulets, he notes that he has a premonition of ill consequences. Romeo says:

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 despised life, clos'd in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.

  • Moody/Unpredictable-This goes along with his love sickness, but continues beyond it. Romeo's friends complain of his gloominess, & his parents are worried by his penchant to lock himself in his room and avoid the sun. However, when he meets Juliet, he is instantly transformed by his perception of true love. He is suddenly floating on air, happy as can be, infatuated with his new love. Although this relationship is held as the pinnacle of love at first sight, Romeo's earlier infatuation with Rosaline calls his love for Juliet into question.