Compare And Contrast Romeo And Paris

Similarities and differences between Romeo and Paris.

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blacksheepunite eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most obvious similarity is that they are both self-centred. Romeo is more in love with love than he is with either of the women he falls for. Paris is so intent on having Juliet that he doesn't care if he harms her or not. (Capulet, who knows from experience, tells Paris that Juliet is too young and that she hasn't had time to "ripen". Paris responds not by agreeing to wait, but by insisting that girls younger than her have been happily made mothers. Like Romeo, Paris is also so eager to marry that he is willing to rush through without any courtship (another indication that neither of them care very much about the woman--girl--involved). Both Romeo and Paris appear to be or are described as somewhat changeable--Romeo leaps from one girl to the next in a matter of hours and Paris is described as a "man of wax". Being a "man of wax" suggests he may be a superficial beauty without serious substance (of course this assessment does come from the Nurse...)Romeo is also wax-like (unless you see him as changing and becoming solid when he meets Juliet).

As for differences...well, Romeo is young while Paris is old (closer to Juliet's mother's age). Juliet may be almost a bud, Romeo is budding, but Paris is in full bloom, a summer flower. Paris is established and Romeo is not. Paris has Capulet's (eventual) consent while Romeo most certainly does not. Paris is well liked by Juliet's mother and is described as a book to be read and find beauty in while Romeo's only reference to a book is in the way he kisses (by the book).

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One difference is their birth. While Romeo is a gentleman from a powerful family (the Montagues) in Verona, Paris is related to the Prince (as is Romeo's friend Mercutio). Paris is probably a better marriage prospect for Juliet than Romeo, even discounting the fact that Romeo comes from the blood enemies of her family. Also, the Nurse regards him as a more attractive man than Romeo. She describes him as a "man of wax" and says later that Romeo is a "dishcloth" compared to Paris. Of course this latter quote appears after Romeo's banishment—clearly the Nurse is trying to cheer Juliet up—but he seems to be a more physically attractive man than Romeo.

As for similarities, there are a few. Both appear to be impulsive and impatient, especially when it comes to the prospect of marrying the beautiful young Juliet. Paris is even able to talk Lord Capulet into giving him his daughter's hand in marriage despite her young age. They are both young, and both are clearly in love with Juliet. Obviously this is true of Romeo, but Paris shows up at her crypt to mourn his "sweet flower"—this is how he gets killed by Romeo near the end of the play. Perhaps the most significant similarity between them, though, is that both are plagued with ill fortune. Really Paris as much as Romeo and Juliet is "star-cross'd." After killing the "noble youth," Romeo reaches out to carry him into the mausoleum, inviting the dead man to "give me thy hand / One writ with me in sour misfortune's book."

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The County Paris is clearly the marriage material that is sanctioned by Juliet's parents. Romeo, on the other hand, would be killed if he were merely found in Juliet's garden. Paris appeals to Juliet's father, and this would be considered the proper way to approach a woman of Juliet's station if interested in marriage. Romeo, on the other hand, approaches Juliet directly when he develops feelings for her.

I think both do actually care about her, though. In the end, when Paris is at Juliet's tomb and Romeo shows up, Paris fights him in an attempt to protect Juliet's body—he assumes that a member of the Montague family is there to do something nefarious. Romeo fights to die with his wife while Paris fights to protect his fiancee. In the end, both die for the woman they loved in life.

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Romeo and Juliet

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