Where in "Romeo and Juliet" does it say Romeo wasn't a good listener?

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lizbv eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo at no point in the play is described as lacking good listening skills. However, his actions demonstrate this fault, especially when he does not heed the advise Friar Laurence offers him in Act II: "they stumble that run fast".  THis statement can be understood to mean that Friar Laurence is warning Romeo to slow down and not rush everything.  He has just met Juliet and he is ready to marry her not 24 hours after their meeting at the Capulet ball.  Additionally, Romeo had been madly in love with Rosaline just hours before meeting Juliet. He is rushing through with everything and Friar Laurence is trying to warn him that metaphorically "running" will cause one to "stumble", meaning rushing can bring a downfall.

kymfitz1 | Student

I believe there is also another instance with Friar Laurence in Act III, Scene 3 where Romeo is not listening and flies completely off the handle.  He has been told by the Friar that he is to be banished, and he freaks out and even tries a lame suicide attempt.  After his speech, Friar Laurence says, "Thou fond madman, hear me but speak a word."   Romeo, still freaking out, still cannot see any good in this punishment.  The Friar then says, "O, then I see that madmen have no ears."

The Friar wants so desperately to show Romeo that it could be worse.  He was only banished, after all.  He could have been put to death, or imprisoned.  Romeo, however, is intent on ignoring this advice and playing the woe is me tune.