What did Romeo think of love before he met Juliet?What did Romeo think love was all about, before he meets Juliet at the Capulet feast?  

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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo was actually in love with someone else before he met Juliet.  Rosaline is Juliet's cousin and the reason that Romeo wants to sneak into the Capulet's party in the first place.  Of course there, he finds someone who he like much better...or is it simply that she likes him back?

This is one of the major differences in how Romeo views love before and after Juliet.  He is moping about the opening of the play and his mother, father and Benvolio are worried about his depression.  He is pining for the "fair Rosaline," who does not return his affections.

He says this about love (Act I, scene i):

Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;

Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;

Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears;

What is it else?  A madness most discreet,

A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.

He is using images that contradict each other, but that really play up the sadness a lover feels.  This is love to Romeo before he meets Juliet.