What are some quotes portraying Romeo as impulsive and immature in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?
When Romeo attempts to break up the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, he accidentally inhibits Mercutio, allowing Tybalt to land the fatal blow. Romeo displays his impulsive nature throughout act three, scene one, when he reacts to Mercutio's murder by immediately fighting Tybalt. Following Mercutio's death, Romeo says:
"Alive in triumph—and Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity,And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now. Now, Tybalt, take the “villain” back again That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul Is but a little way above our heads, Staying for thine to keep him company" (Shakespeare, 3.1.84-90).
Romeo then reacts impulsively by taking revenge and killing Tybalt. Instead of controlling his anger, Romeo makes a terrible decision, which gets him banished from Verona.
Later, in act three, Romeo displays his immaturity by complaining about his exile to Friar Lawrence. When Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that the Prince of Verona has lightened his sentence, Romeo reacts immaturely by saying,
"Ha, banishment! Be merciful, say “death,” For exile hath more terror in his look, Much more than death. Do not say “banishment" (Shakespeare, 3.3.12-14).
Romeo continues to complain that there is nowhere to go outside of Verona and that he would prefer death. Friar Lawrence responds by calling Romeo rude and ungrateful.
One passage that portrays Romeo's immaturity can be found in the very first scene. When it is clear that Romeo is letting his heart be eaten away by his emotions for Rosaline, Benvolio begs him to listen to his advice and to forget about Rosaline. Romeo's response is, "O, teach me how I should forget to think!" (I.i.227). This line shows emotional immaturity due to the fact that it also portrays Romeo as being irrational. Only an irrational, immature person believes that he/she has no control over his/her own emotions. A wiser man, like Benvolio, would see that we can use our rational minds to control our emotional responses to situations.
Impulsiveness can be seen in Romeo's decision to marry so suddenly, particularly when he begs Friar Laurence to marry he and Juliet that day, as we see in the line, "But this I pray, / That thou consent to marry us to-day" (II.iii.64-65). There was no real, concrete reason to want to be married so suddenly. Instead, had they postponed the marriage, Friar Laurence might have acted as an intermediary to try and persuade both Lords Capulet and Montague to consent to the marriage. Delaying the marriage until their plans were more publicly known and publicly accepted might have saved both Romeo's and Juliet's lives.
I have always thought that the string of oxymorons Romeo uses to describe how lovesick he is, is a bit dramatic and shows that he is impulsive about his love for Rosaline.
"Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,