Is Romeo of "Romeo and Juliet" a static or dynamic character?  Any evidence?I would like to know if Romeo is static or dynamic and any evidence of this desicion.

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A dynamic character changes significantly throughout the story.  A static character remains substantially the same.  Romeo is a static character.  His main personality traits are over-reaction, rashness, and emotional instability.  When we first meet Romeo, we see two of the three.  He is upset over the reject from Rosaline.  As a result, he has sunk into a deep depression.  Despite the calm counsel of his friend Benvolio, Romeo refuses to rise out of his depression.  He refuses to accept that there could possibly ever be another woman for him.

Enter Juliet.  Romeo falls quickly in love.  He rushes into her garden, despite it being the home of his enemy and dangerous.  He pledges himself to Juliet after one quick meeting.  He arranges to marry her.  The Friar himself is shocked by Romeo's quick change of heart:  "Holy Saint Francis! What a change this is! Is Rosaline, who you did love so dearly, So soon forsaken? young men's love, then, lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes."

Romeo does marry Juliet, but his new love and new position as a husband does not change him.  Although he has sworn not to fight, he quickly changes tunes after Mercutio is killed and kills Tybalt.  Then, when news comes to him that Juliet has been killed, he acts rashly and without logic.  Rather than seeking the Friar for more information, Romeo kills himself.  He never learned his lesson.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would call Romeo a static character. He starts off as an impulsive and passionate young man who is in love with love, and ends exactly the same way. Of course, given that the entire time frame of the play is four days, we might not expect a radical change in Romeo in such a short period of time.

Romeo does change his love interest from Rosaline to Juliet, but his characteristic of falling head over heels in love with a beautiful girl hasn't changed. The undying passion he thought he had for Rosaline simply transfers to someone he finds more dazzling--and who happens to return his love. In both cases, his passion becomes all consuming.

After his secret marriage to Juliet, Romeo does try to show some restraint and not allow himself to be baited into a sword fight with Tybalt. He even tries to break up the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, but when Tybalt kills Mercutio, the passionate and impulsive side of Romeo once again takes over. Romeo murders Tybalt before thinking through the consequences.

Romeo behaves the same way at the end of the play. When he believes Juliet is dead, he rushes passionately and heedlessly into suicide, not stopping to consider whether that is the wisest path. From start to finish, Romeo's passions rule him, which may make him not too different from many an adolescent.

gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo is a dynamic character. He changes through the course of the play, and markedly. The most obvious evidence of this is his shift in love objects, and how that changes how he acts. Romeo longed for Rosaline, and thought his love was true…until he met Juliet. Then he couldn't play at love anymore, but was transformed by it. He still tasks risks, but the risks he used to take for fun, he now takes to see his beloved. He's willing to kill, to flee the city, anything, to be with her. That's dynamic.