In Romeo and Juliet, how is love guided by passion and emotion?More specifically with Romeo

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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sixxvonstar | Student

What to consider is, is it really love or infatuation?

In Act I Scene I, Romeo speaks of his love to Rosaline (her name not yet known to us.)  Looking closely at the language used by Romeo, as he describes her beauty and his uncontrollable love for her, you can point out similarities in what he says when he meets Juliet.  Love does not happened instantly, infatuation and lust do and it must be kept in mind that Romeo i supposed to be around 15/16 in the play, which is when teenage emotions are there most poignant, but more importantly confused.

Passion and emotion are together intertwined, as with one comes the other, and there is no doubt what so ever that Romeo is passionate about both Juliet and Rosaline but does this stem from love or lust?  It could be argued that there is more love and kinship between Romeo and Mercutio than there is between himself and Juliet, as seen when he kills Tybalt which he is ultimately pushed to through passion and emotion. 

Both Romeo and Juliet have grown up in families that are more concerned with their family status in society than in bringing up their children with realistic values.  Neither Romeo or Juliet has been partial to a loving parent/child relationship and therefore it can be seen why their perception of what love is skewed.

Love is used as a tool by Romeo to woo a very vulnerable Juliet, and despite the innocence of their relationship by the end of the play Juliet destroys her life for Romeo because of love.  It is a two sided fork, the mirage of love can drive the plot of the play forward, yet it also destroys it both being justified by passion and emotion.

One last point, it is not only love that is driven by passion and emotion so is power, violence and revenge which are themselves key themes within the text.

Hope this helps.


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Romeo and Juliet

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