In Romeo and Juliet, how does Romeo take Rosaline's rejection?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 1, scene 1 of “Romeo and Juliet”, both Romeo’s parents and Romeo reveal his feelings about Rosaline’s rejection of him to his cousin Benvolio (although his parents do not know why Romeo is acting the way that he is acting).  Lord Montague describes Romeo as shutting himself up in his room, closing the curtains, and locking himself away from society when he says,

Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out.  (A. 1, s. 1)


Following this conversation with Lord Montague, Benvolio seeks out Romeo and Romeo continues to express his sadness about Rosaline.  Romeo’s directly tells Benvolio how upset he is and then uses oxymorons to emphasize his sadness when he says, “O brawling love! O loving hate! / O any thing, of nothing first create! / O heavy lightness! serious vanity!” (A. 1, s. 1) These oxymorons contrast the happinessthat one should feel in love but the sadness that Romeo feels because of Rosaline's rejection.

jess1999 | Student

Romeo basically acts super depressed from the rejection . For example , he would lock himself up in his room with all the curtains closed .