Does Juliet also experience "love at first sight" as well as Romeo in Act I, Scene V of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juliet's experience with falling in love with Romeo is slightly different from Romeo's own experience. Romeo falls in love the first moment he looks at Juliet. While Juliet falls in love at the ball as well, it's evident that it takes her a moment to build up to it. It's really Romeo's kiss that makes Juliet fall in love. Hence, while physical attraction is enough to make Romeo fall in love, Juliet falls in love due to physical touch.

We know that Romeo falls in love with Juliet the moment he sees her because he comments on how beautiful she is. Not only that, he connects feelings of love to his observation of her beauty, as we see in his lines, "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! / For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night" (I.v.54-55). For Juliet, on the other hand, it does not become evident that physical attraction has played a role in her feelings for Romeo until the later scenes when we see her commenting on his looks.

Typical of women, Juliet's process of falling in love with Romeo is much more of an intellectual process. We see the intellectual process through her initial conversation with him. Here, she replies to his flirtation with witty repartee. Her witty replies even reveal her soul and her spirituality through the religious references she makes. More importantly, their conversation about things that are important to her, like religion, gave her the chance to feel an intellectual and emotional bond with Romeo. However, the real moment Juliet falls in love with Romeo is when he kisses her. The kiss, of course, releases hormones that makes Juliet feel she is in love with him. While Juliet makes no indication that she has fallen in love immediately after he kisses her, by the end of the scene, we know for sure what her feelings for Romeo are. We know that she has fallen in love with him because she declares to Nurse, "If he be married, / My grave is like to be my wedding bed" (I.v.143-44). Hence we see that unlike Romeo, while Juliet does not fall in love at the sight of Romeo, she certainly does fall in love with him very quickly due to physical attraction.

cknolen11 | Student


look back at your text... its there

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Romeo and Juliet

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