Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does Romeo's character change in act 1, scene 5, of Romeo and Juliet?

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Romeo has been passively moping over Rosaline since the opening of the play. We do not know how difficult it is for him to see and speak to her but, since Juliet is the only daughter of his family's greatest enemy, presumably Rosaline would be easier for him to approach than Juliet is. When he sees Juliet, however, Romeo suddenly becomes dynamic and active. His approach is one which would be brusque and even obnoxious if he were not sure of his ground, suddenly grabbing her hand and offering to kiss her, but he is perfectly sure, as he never is with Rosaline, that his love will be reciprocated.

The formation of a perfect sonnet between the two lovers with the first words they exchange is a brilliant symbol of the reciprocity of their love, the way in which these two people can talk to each other in a way they have never been able to talk to anyone else. When Romeo next spars with Mercutio in act 2, scene 4, he is more than a match for his wit, since his love for Juliet invigorates him rather...

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