In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, what does Romeo say that Juliet's love has done to him?

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In William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo Montague speaks throughout act 2, scene 2 about how love changes him. Romeo believes that love makes him more open to change, more bold, and more willing to take risks.In this famous balcony scene, Romeo says to Juliet ...

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In William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo Montague speaks throughout act 2, scene 2 about how love changes him. Romeo believes that love makes him more open to change, more bold, and more willing to take risks.

In this famous balcony scene, Romeo says to Juliet, "Call me but love, and I"ll be new baptized; / Henceforth I never will be Romeo" (lines 898-899). Love makes him willing to drastically change and take up a new name and identity. Juliet, surprised by his presence in her guarded family compound, worries for his safety on enemy grounds. She asks him how he made it over the walls surrounding her household, and tells him he will surely be killed if the Capulet's guards find him. Romeo tells her that love allows him to scale walls and it is so powerful that it can resist danger:


With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls;
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me. (act 2, scene 2, lines 915-918)

Romeo says love gives him wings to jump over the compound walls. Love makes him daring and unafraid of consequences (even death). He shares this same sentiment about the power of love a few lines later when he tells Juliet, "And but thou love me, let them find me here" (line 925). He is willing to give up his life to the guards if it means he can continue to share love with Juliet.

When Juliet continues asking Romeo questions about how he found his way into the Capulets' guarded compound, Romeo tells her that love helped him: " . . . love, who first did prompt me to inquire; He lent me counsel" (lines 929-930). Here, he says love (personified) made him bolder and love itself encouraged him to seek out Juliet.

Romeo Montague believes that love is a source of wisdom, strength, and bravery.



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In Act III, Scene 1, Romeo claims that Juliet's beauty (he never says love, but it is implied) has rendered him effeminate. He refers to himself as unmanly because he did not stand up for himself when he was challenged by Tybalt. Instead, Mercutio steps in and fights Tybalt, mistaking Romeo's behavior for cowardice. Romeo has just been married to Juliet, Tybalt's cousin, and fighting the Capulet is the furthest thing from his mind. He even tells Tybalt that he loves him. All the while, Mercutio's anger is rising and he and Tybalt end up fighting, which leads to Mercutio's death when Romeo attempts to intercede. At first, the Montague men do not believe that Mercutio is hurt badly, as he continues joking, but when he turns up dead, Romeo is grief stricken, saying,

This gentleman, the Prince’s near ally,
My very friend, hath got this mortal hurt
In my behalf. My reputation stained
With Tybalt’s slander—Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my cousin! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper softened valor’s steel.
Because he has allowed Mercutio to fight his battle, Romeo is distraught and suggests that he has been womanish (obviously a sexist comment if taken literally today, but at the time perfectly understandable) in his conduct and his courage has been "softened" by the beauty and love of Juliet.
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