I need examples of Romeo's love among his friends and himself.Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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That there is a strong bond between Romeo and his friends is evinced early in Shakespeare's play.  For, in Act I when Lord Montague questions his nephew Benvolio about Romeo's whereabouts, Romeo's cousin and friend describes how he has closely and concernedly observed Romeo, whom he has seen with tears in his eyes as he hides from the light of day.  With Benvolio's next lines, Shakespeare emphasizes the young men's close relationship through language, 

See, where he comes. So please you, step aside,
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied. (1.1.152-153)
  

Later in this scene, when Romeo speaks dramatically of his lost love, in another act of frienship, Benvolio makes light of Romeo's melancholy in hopes of cheering him, 

Alas that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof! (1.1.167-168)

However, as Romeo confides in his friend, Benvolio becomes concerned.  So, he suggests that Romeo try to forget to think of Rosalind.  He later tells Romeo of the masque at the home of the Capulets in hopes that Romeo will see other fair maidens and be distracted from matters of the heart: 


Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die. (1.2.50-51)

Of course, after the masque, Benvolio and Mercutio both are anxious about Romeo's whereabouts; they search for him in the first scene of Act II, but to no avail.  Further, in Act II Mercutio seeks to entertain and lighten Romeo's heart with his Queen Mab speech, ironically introducing the dichotomy between the inconstant love of Rosalind and the constant love of Juliet that Romeo will soon feel.  Then, in Act III Mercutio's act of loyalty to his friend in defending the Motagues against the railing Tybalt is evinced.  Moreover, it is because of his love for Romeo that Tybalt feels such disappointment in his friend when he does not challenge Tybalt, but instead declares his love for him.  Feeling that if Romeo will not defend himself, he, Mercutio, must act on his behalf, Mercutio draws his sword; Tybalt takes advantage of Romeo's interposing and issues Mercutio a mortal blow.  As he dies, he asks his friend,

Why the devil came you between
us? I was hurt under your arm. (3.1.102-103)

With Mercutio dead and Tybalt killed by Romeo's sword as he has avenged the death of his friend, Benvolio knows that the feud will reach feverish pitch, so he warns Romeo to run away because the Prince "will doom thee death" (3.1.136).  Of course, Romeo regrets deeply the accidental slaying of his friend Mercutio, crying out "O, I am fortune's fool!" (3.1.137).  When the Prince arrives, Benvolio defends his "dear kinsman," informing the ruler of how Tybalt first slay Mercutio even though Romeo tried to reconcile their differences,


Romeo, that spoke him fair, bid him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, and urg'd withal
Your high displeasure. All this, uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow'd,
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast;
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point, (3.1.157-164) 

Throughout the first half of the play, both Benvolio and Mercutio demonstrate their concern and love for Romeo, who, in turn, defends his friendship for Mercutio in avenging his death by slaying Tybalt without regard to the danger in which such an act places him.

 

 

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