What role did Rosaline play in Romeo and Juliet?

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Rosaline performs a similar function in the play for Romeo as Paris does for Juliet : a second love interest. At the beginning, we see Romeo in love with Rosaline, idealizing her and lamenting that she will not accept his love. These feelings, which he claims to be so sincere...

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Rosaline performs a similar function in the play for Romeo as Paris does for Juliet: a second love interest. At the beginning, we see Romeo in love with Rosaline, idealizing her and lamenting that she will not accept his love. These feelings, which he claims to be so sincere at the beginning, are contrasted to the way that he falls in love with Juliet later in the play.

One could argue that Rosaline's role is to show that he did not feel true love until he met Juliet, and that anything that came before was merely infatuation. It could also be interpreted to suggest that Romeo's love is easily changed, as he meets Juliet so soon after declaring his love for another woman.

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