What are Romeo and Juliet's strengths and weaknesses? Explain.

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo and Juliet's strengths and weaknesses are representative of the strengths and weaknesses of adolescents in general. In terms of clear strengths, they are generous with their love for each other and idealistic, both of which are positive qualities that many teenagers bring to their relationships with their peers. In terms of clear weaknesses, they are both impulsive and treat serious situations with the potential for serious outcomes a little too casually; these weaknesses reflect their immaturity and inexperienced ways of dealing with the world. In their short lives, while under the control of their parents, they have had few opportunities to make decisions independently, so it is no wonder that they made a few mistakes.

Also, both Romeo and Juliet embody adolescent qualities that are neither strengths nor weaknesses but simply developmentally appropriate behaviors for their age. For example, their early passion and commitment to each other reflects the intensity of emotions that many teenagers experience at this time in their lives. They also test the boundaries of their relationships with their families, like many typical adolescents looking to separate themselves from their childhood dependence on their parents.

dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo has a few weaknesses; first, he falls in love too easily. This can be seen in both his infatuation with Rosaline and his relationship with Juliet.  He is also impetuous.  This means that Romeo rushes into things too quickly and does not think about what he is doing before he does it.  If Romeo had not suffered from these two weaknesses the story may not have ended the same way.  Juliet is also extremely impetuous – she demands that Romeo marry her or decide when he is going to marry on the very night that they meet for the first time.  Juliet also does not have much respect for her parents. Both of these weaknesses also bring about Juliet’s downfall in the play. 

As for their strengths – both characters seem to know what they want and are not afraid to get what they want immediately no matter what it takes to get it.  Additionally, both characters seem to be loyal to each other even though they may not be loyal to their own families.