I need to write an analysis to support the two points below regarding Juliet.1) Juliet obsessively comments on Romeo’s physical appearance. 2) Juliet marries Romeo too quickly, without thinking...

I need to write an analysis to support the two points below regarding Juliet.

1) Juliet obsessively comments on Romeo’s physical appearance.

2) Juliet marries Romeo too quickly, without thinking about the consequences.

Asked on by tealseal

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shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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I'll discuss your second point first, since it is the most obvious, and exists to drive the tragic action of the play.  Haste in action, without thinking about the consequences, is a characteristic of both Romeo and Juliet, and a common characteristic of youth.  Without haste in action, there would be no tragedy, since there must be flaws in the decision making of the tragic hero and/or heroine for a tragedy to fulfill its dramatic intent.

Juliet is hasty in the following ways:

  • She decides that she is in love with Romeo and wants to marry him by the end of Act I, scene v.
  • In Act II, scene ii (the balcony scene) she tells Romeo that if his intentions are honorable then he should send word to her the next day when and where they will be married.

Both of these events transpire before she has even known him for one entire day.

As for the consequences of her actions, it is always easy to know that there are negative consequences, once you know the outcome.  Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 vision.  So, though Juliet is hasty, it is a bit too presumptuous to assume that if she had thought more, taken more time to consider before marrying Romeo, then she might have realized where it would all lead and prevented the tragedy.

It is also hard to imagine that, even if she had slowed her decision making down, she would imagine that Romeo would murder Tybalt and be banished on their wedding day,

  • which would lead her father to decide she should marry Paris (to cheer up her assumed grief over Tybalt's death),
  • which would lead to her taking the potion given her by the Friar,
  • which would lead to Romeo believing she was dead,
  • which would lead to his suicide,
  • which would lead to her suicide.

These consequences would probably not be dreamed up by even the most wise and thoughtful person.  So, it is hard to make the argument that, if Juliet had paused to consider, she might have prevented the action of the play.

As for your second point, Juliet doesn't obsessively comment on Romeo's appearance.  She does, in the balcony scene, when she believes that she is alone onstage, say:

. . .That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title.

But this sort of generalized remark about how fabulous and perfect he is doesn't refer to his physical appearance necessarily.  She talks about him being wonderful and fabulous in other scenes in the play as well, but never specifically about his physical appearance.  It is Romeo who talks about her appearance, her beauty, in both Act I, scene v when he first sees her and again before she discovers him in Act II, scene ii.

For more on haste and the characters of Romeo and Juliet, please follow the links below.

 

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