Romeo and JulietSo Iam following up on a thesis and collecting quotes to back up the evidence which is "Romeo is nothing but a slefish, immature brat, and can only think of himself" So I was...

Romeo and Juliet

So Iam following up on a thesis and collecting quotes to back up the evidence which is "Romeo is nothing but a slefish, immature brat, and can only think of himself"

So I was wondering what do you guys think about the thesis and should i go with it or argue with it that Romeo isnt selfish,etc????

Whats your say???


Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I agree that Romeo is self-absorbed and perhaps even selfish, I'm not sure he can be called a brat. He is immature and he is young, something everyone is, at times. He is overly dramatic, for sure, when he mopes around so lugubriously in mourning for a lost love (Rosaline), and he acts impetuously when he pursues his new love (Juliet). However, Romeo does do some things right. As #2 says, he  tries to befriend an angry Tybalt. He demonstrates loyalty to his friend (Mercutio). He returns home, despite the danger to himself, when he hears of Juliet's death.

I tend to read this tragedy more as a realist than a romantic, so I'm not totally opposed to the position you've taken. What I would suggest as a more defendable (and less inflammatory) position is that Romeo is dramatic and impetuous, and these are the two qualities which, in the end, cause his death. Think about all the times when Romeo acts quickly without thinking (impetuously) and how those acts get him in trouble. Everything he does is dramatic (big, over-the-top), and that is the beginning of all his trouble. Happy writing!

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Romeo behaves selfishly in his pursuit of his goal of Juliet's love, despite their families feud, his inner traits and qualities are not selfish. In other words, if you'd met Romeo two weeks before the play opens, you may have seen a repeatedly love-struck puppy (metaphorically speaking), but you would not have seen a selfish young man. It is the significant circumstance of the family feud--it is not a triviality or irrelevancy--that drives Romeo to act outside the bound of his own nature and selfishly push for his goal. This can be proved by his insistence on the Friar's help, his efforts to deter the fighting, and his devotion to his friends and, newly, to Juliet's friends and family.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, he is selfish.  But what do you expect?  He's madly in love.  When young people are in love, all they can think about is themselves and the objects of their love.

However, he is not all selfish.  He does think and do things that are not self-centered.  For example, he makes an effort to "love" Tybalt because Tybalt is now his relative by marriage.  He tries to prevent the fight in which Tybalt and Mercutio die.

Overall, though, I'd say he's selfish.  But I would not use the other pejorative terms you use.  I would argue that he's selfish in a way that is completely normal for a person in his situation.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That Romeo is rather self-absorbed is, indeed,  indicated before he becomes involved with the Montague/Capulet feurd or with Juliet.  For, in the first act, Lady Montague seeks him and stops Benvolio to ask if he has seen Romeo,

O, where is Romeo? Saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.(1.1.113-114)
Lord Montague discourses then on how Romeo has penned himself into his room, making an artificial night by closing all the curtains.  He shuns his parents and is consumed with his angst over his unrequited love for Rosalind.  That is, until he sees Juliet.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think you need a little bit more sophisticated thesis. I would begin by changing the vocabulary in what you already have, and then by considering the point of your thesis. Are you trying to show that the play is not as dramatic? That Romeo and Juliet were doomed? If you take your thesis to the next step, this might work.
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have always considered most of Romeo's negative traits attributed to his immaturity rather than a fault of character. He is not unlike many other boys today who fall in love and find it difficult to think of anything but the one with whom they have become entranced.