In what ways are Romeo's and Juliet's reaction to Romeo's banishment alike and different in Romeo and Juliet?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo and Juliet are both upset.  Both confide in their protector (friar and nurse), and go to the friar for help.

Naturally, Romeo and Juliet are both upset when they realize that Romeo has been banished.  They are young and in love, and cannot imagine how they will live apart.  Their parents do not even know they are married.

When Juliet finds out that Romeo is banished, she reacts with anger and frustration.

O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical! (Act 3, Scene 2, p. 67)

She is angry at Romeo, but she loves him.  She can’t stay angry at him.  In the end, she is just sad.  She feels betrayed not by Romeo, but by fate.  She does not blame him or Tybalt.

When Romeo finds out his punishment for killing Tybalt is banishment, he tells Friar Lawrence he would rather be killed than banished.

Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say ‘death’;

For exile hath more terror in his look,

Much more than death. Do not say ‘banishment.’(Act 3, Scene 3, p. 71)

Romeo whines and cries, just like Juliet did.  He takes Friar Lawrence’s advice, but he is worried about never seeing Juliet again.

Juliet’s nurse comes to the friar.  She is annoyed at Romeo for being in the same predicament as Juliet and acting the same way.

Even so lies she,(90)

Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.

Stand up, stand up! Stand, an you be a man.

For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand! (Act 3, Scene 3, p. 74)

Romeo is afraid that Juliet does not love him anymore because he murdered her cousin, but the nurse tells him Juliet still loves him.  Romeo tries to kill himself, but the nurse stops him and tells him he is lucky.  They agree that Friar Lawrence will come up with a plan.

When the nurse tells Juliet that she should just forget about Romeo and marry Paris, she goes to Friar Lawrence.  He gives her a sleeping potion to fake her death, and tells her he is going to make arrangements with Romeo.  It is the beginning of the end.  Neither can live without the other.

Romeo and Juliet’s similar reactions demonstrate their similar levels of maturity.  Both are young and impulsive.  They are so caught up in the drama and passion of the moment that the reality of the situation has not sunk in.  Therefore they do not make good choices, and it leads to both their dooms.  Nurse is really the only practical person, becaus she tells Juliet to move on.