How does Shakespeare personify Romeo's feelings for Rosaline and for Juliet in Romeo and Juliet?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The personification of Romeo's feelings towards the two women that he loves in this play is achieved through Romeo's own description of his love and how it is different for both of these women. Take his feelings for Rosaline, for example, which are expressed in Act I scene 2. He confides to Benvolio that part of his moodiness and depression is that he loves Rosaline but she is obviously playing hard to get. Note how he describes his love in the following quote:

And, in strong proof of chastity well armed,

From love's weak childish bow she lives unharmed.

Romeo compares his love here to a "weak childish bow" that indicates that Rosaline is not touched by his infatuation with her, and also hints that there is a greater love to come in the form of Juliet, where Romeo's love will not be "weak" or "childish," and which will surpass the affection he feels for Rosaline. Shakespeare describes the love that Romeo has for his women through powerful images that help to identify the difference in his feelings for them both.


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