What are some adjectives to describe characters from Romeo and Juliet?

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The following is how I would describe the main characters in order of their appearance in the play.

As his name suggests, Benvolio is good, gentle and peaceful. He seems to despise violence and is twice seen giving warnings, first to Tybalt in Act I and later to Mercutio in Act III, about fighting in the streets of Verona. Because his pleadings fall on deaf ears, it may also be possible to label him as weak in that he is incapable of convincing Tybalt and Mercutio to do what is right.

In contrast to Benvolio, Tybalt is angry and vengeful. He displays his anger in Act I, Scene 1 when he threatens Benvolio with death even though Benvolio is simply trying to restore order. He displays a vengeful side when he cannot forget Romeo's intrusion at Capulet's party in Act I, Scene 5 and later challenges Romeo in Act III.

Romeo is emotional and impetuous. He wears his heart on his sleeve and displays moodiness and depression when he feels he has been rejected. He is also quite impetuous, and rather than leave Capulet's house after meeting Juliet, he dangerously goes back over the wall in hopes of catching another glimpse of the girl. Later, this impetuous nature will spell his doom as he quickly decides to commit suicide once he learns of Juliet's (supposed) death.

Lord Capulet is both loving and intractable. In the beginning, he comes across as an admirable and loving father as he thinks only of Juliet when Count Paris offers to marry her. Despite it being a good social and political match, Capulet urges Paris to win his daughter's love before he will agree to the marriage. Later, however, he is quite intractable in his demand that Juliet marry Paris. When Juliet begs him to postpone such a marriage, he blows up and threatens to disown her.

The Nurse is loving and simple. She loves Juliet like her own daughter and wants what is best for her. This is displayed in her loyalty to Juliet when the girl asks her to be a go-between with Romeo. Later, she displays her simplicity when Juliet asks her for advice about marrying Paris. All the Nurse can see is that Romeo is gone forever and that Paris is a handsome and appropriate match for Juliet.

Juliet is loyal and dynamic. She displays her loyalty to Romeo throughout the play. She readily admits her love and demands the same from Romeo. When Tybalt is killed by Romeo, instead of denouncing Romeo, she displays her loyalty by understanding that he probably killed Tybalt in self-defense. She is a dynamic character in the play. She changes from being a naive, wide-eyed little girl to a mature woman capable of love and loyalty toward her husband.

Mercutio is arrogant and volatile. When he is first introduced in Act I, Scene 4 he demands to be the center of attention. When Romeo tells him that he's had a dream, Mercutio insists on relating his dream first. His Queen Mab speech reveals both his arrogance and volatility. He wants to be in the limelight so much that he improvises a fantastical story about the "fairies' midwife." He ends the speech by becoming incensed and seemingly on the verge of violence as he talks of "cutting foreign throats" and "foul sluttish hairs." This volatile side is also triggered in Act III when he cannot abide Romeo's refusal to fight and so fights Tybalt himself.

Friar Laurence is philosophical and scheming. When he is first introduced in Act II, Scene 3 he talks of how plants and herbs are much like people. Within one flower is the capability of providing both medicine and poison. Likewise, people are capable of good deeds as well as terrible evil. His schemes mainly revolve around ending the feud between the Montagues and Capulets. He believes that if he marries Romeo and Juliet, the "alliance" will turn "rancor to pure love." Later, he schemes to deceive the Capulets by having Juliet fake her death to avoid marrying Count Paris. His schemes, while the products of good intentions, ultimately fail and lead to tragedy.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A adjective is a part of speech which describes, or modifies, a noun or pronoun. Adjectives can be used to provide descriptions of characters in a text.

Some of the adjectives, used to describe characters in William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," are as follows.

-Conversation between Sampson and Gregory (I,i): choler (angry), valiant, weak, cruel.

-Conversation between Romeo and Benvolio (I,i): sad, gentle, tyrannous, rough, depressed, lost, sick, rich, blind.

-Conversation between Capulet and Paris (I,ii): old, honorable, pride, younger, happy, lusty,

-Conversation between Romeo and Benvolio (I,ii): burning, anguished, desperate, languish, crazy, and tormented.