Does Romeo really love Juliet?Support the opinion with quotation from the play

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The subject of love is not a simple one in real life or Shakespeare's famous play, Romeo and Juliet.  In the play, love is often fickle and may be seen more as infatuation than true love.  In my opinion, Romeo does not really love Juliet.

In the first four scenes of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is completely heartbroken because Rosaline does not return his love.  When Romeo bemoans Rosaline's decision to enter a convent in Act I, Scene i, he tells Benvolio:

...She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow

Do I live dea that live to tell it now...

Thou canst not teach me to forget.

Later, Romeo even claims that he hopes that his eyes burn out if he ever believes another girl is as beautiful as Rosaline.  Even on the way to the Capulet's party, Romeo tells his friends

I am too sore enpierced with {Cupid's} shaft

To soar with his light feathers; and so bound

I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe.

Under love's heavy burden I do sink.

 

Despite his intense "love" for Rosaline, though, Romeo instantaneously falls in "love" with Juliet before he even meets her!  When Romeo sees Juliet across the room, he forgets his feelings for Rosaline and asks:

Did my heart love till now?  Forswear it, sight!

For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Because he forgets Rosaline and claims to love Juliet in an instant, I believe that Romeo had no idea what true love is.  I would say that his feelings for both girls were infatuation and that there relationship was more teen drama than anything else.

 

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