In Romeo and Juliet, why does Romeo love Rosaline?

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Jessica Akcinar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo is a young, overly-sensitive man. He easily falls in and out of love, starting with Rosaline, one of Juliet's relatives.

At the beginning of the play, Romeo is dejected over Rosaline's rejection. She has chosen life-long celibacy, so Romeo can never be with her. A specific reason for his love for Rosaline is never given. However, Romeo does mention to Benvolio that Rosaline is beautiful ("She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair") in Act I, scene 1, so his infatuation may just be skin deep. This may explain how and why Romeo fell in love with Juliet at first sight.

Benvolio asks Romeo to forget Rosaline and seek other girls, but Romeo says no one's beauty matches Rosaline's:

Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve but as a note
Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair?

However, he agrees to go to the party because Rosaline is mentioned in the invitation.

jess1999 | Student

From the play , we only know that Romeo finds Rosaline beautiful . We can infer though that Romeo falls in and out of love too quickly . For example , he was still in love with Rosaline at the party until he saw Juliet which shows that he falls in love and out of love too quickly .

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Romeo and Juliet

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