Mercutio and Benvolio were looking for Romeo. Why do they think he is hiding from them?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the play Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare Mercutio and Benvolio think Romeo is love-sick!He is so miserable at missing a girl he just wants to be left alone. Here Shakespeare paints us a vivid picture of what 'young love' is like and it is a skilful and observant piece of description. Adolescents are mixed-up about the whole love thing at first. One minute the object of their affections is the be-all and end-all of their lives, the next minute - they see something different and forget totally about the first one! This is typical of adolescence. Yet Romeo's love for Juliet will turn out to be different and vice-versa - and Shakespeare explores the possibility that it is all down to Fate. They were meant to be together and Rosaline was only a fleeting glimpse of womankind for Romeo.

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Benvolio and Mercutio are unaware of Romeo's feelings for Juliet at this point.  They believe he is still in love with Rosaline, who does not love him in return and intends to join a convent.  When Benvolio and Mercutio are unable to find Romeo following their crashing of the Capulet party, they assume that he is keeping himself away from them because his heart is still broken and he does not want company.  They believe that he simply wants to be left alone because he is sad from dwelling on the love he cannot have.  They give up on their quest to find him, since they realize that he does not mean to be found.