Why does Romeo decide to go to the party in Act 1, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo oh Romeo, why so whiney Romeo?  When the audience first meets Romeo, he's in the most depressed funk ever.  The love of his life, Rosaline, has just told Romeo that she would rather live a celibate life than be with Romeo.  


Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?


She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,

Those lines crack me up every time.  I would have loved to have seen Romeo's face when she told him that.  

Benvolio tries very hard to console Romeo, but eventually Benvolio gives Romeo the "there's plenty of fish in the sea" talk.  He tells Romeo that there are plenty of other beautiful women for Romeo to woo and fall in love with.  


O, teach me how I should forget to think.


By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.

During the next scene, Romeo and Benvolio encounter an illiterate servant that is supposed to deliver Capulet party invitations.  He asks Romeo to read the list to him.  Romeo quickly discovers that fair Rosaline will be there.  Romeo decides to go to the party in order to lay his eyes upon her some more.  Benvolio, on the other hand, tells Romeo to go to the party so that Romeo can see way more beautiful women than Rosaline.  

Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.

So what happens?  Well, Benvolio winds up being correct, because Romeo spies fair Juliet and is married to her two days later. Never a thought of chaste Rosaline again. 

mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo had considered himself in love with Rosaline, but now that they are no longer together, he is very depressed. Benvolio wants Romeo to get out of his funk and wants him to have fun. When the Capulet's servant asks for help in reading the list for the invitation to the ball, Romeo helps the man. In exchange for his help, the servant invites him to the party. Romeo sees Rosaline's name on the list, so he agrees to go to the party with Benvolio. 

Romeo goes to the party to be able to see Rosaline, but the minute he lays eyes on Juliet, he is instantly in love with her. His intention for going to the party was to watch the woman he thought he loved, but by being there, he found his true love. Some say that Romeo was fickle. He considered himself to be in love with Rosaline, but when he sees Juliet, he is instantly in love with her. However, the thought of love at first sight, is a thought we all would like to believe in. Although the story of Romeo and Juliet is a tragic one, it is also a story of love and the lengths one will go to for the person they love. Romeo and Juliet will forever live on as the case for true love.

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 1, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Benvolio encounter a servant on the street. The servant was asked to deliver invitations to a list of people, but being illiterate, cannot read the list. Romeo agrees to read the list and in exchange for the favour, the servant invites Romeo to the party. Benvolio, hearing that Rosaline will be at the party, suggests that Romeo accept the invitation. Because Romeo is in love with Rosaline, he agrees to go to the party in order to watch Rosaline.

graceling | Student

Benvoilo wishes to get romeo out of the bad mood his in(Rosaline isn't in love with romeo and has sworn to a life of chasity which makes romeo gloomy and sad) and so tells romeo to go to the party to meet other women(but romeo goes instead to see rosaline) then when he enters the party romeo sees juliet and instintly falls in love and forgets all about rosealine

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Romeo and Juliet

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