Does Romeo mature throughout the play Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo in Romeo and Juliet does not mature throughout the play. He acts impulsively and rashly at the beginning of the play when he casts off Rosaline, who he has claimed to love, for Juliet, and he acts impulsively and rashly at the end of the play when he rushes into Juliet's tomb with poison to kill himself. In addition, he places little value on his own life or the lives of others, which is another sign of his immaturity.

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Ultimately, I don't think Romeo matures throughout the play. He is pretty rash and impulsive throughout, rarely actually thinking through his decisions logically. Initially, he says that he is in "love" with Rosaline, but his statements make it clear that his feelings really only constitute lust. Romeo says that no lovers' vows will induce her to sleep with him, nor will she "ope her lap to saint-seducing gold" (1.1.222). Rosaline has "sworn that she will still live chaste," and this makes Romeo miserable (1.1.225). Then, after he sees Juliet, he drops Rosaline like a hot potato.

To be fair, I do think that he loves Juliet, but I wouldn't necessarily classify love as the domain of only "mature" people, and certainly mature individuals feel lust as well. However, the same day as his marriage to Juliet, he kills her cousin, Tybalt, knowing full well that this will bring terrible consequences. Not that he considers those consequences ahead of time. Just before he kills Tybalt, he tells the...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 15, 2020
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