Why do Mercutio and Benvolio think that Romeo avoids them after the party?

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Benvolio and Mercutio think Romeo has gone off to be alone or sulk, because Rosaline does not love him. 

They look for him and, at first, Mercutio says that Romeo "hath stolen him home to bed."  He says he's gone home to bed.

Benvolio, however, points out that he saw Romeo leap over an orchard wall:

He ran this way, and leapt this orchard wall.

And Mercutio assumes he has gone to sulk.  He makes fun of Romeo, pretending to conjure him up in the name of Rosaline:

I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,

By her high forehead and her scarlet lip.

By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,

And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,

That in thy likeness thou appear to us.

And Benvolio, telling Mercutio that it's time to go,  concludes that Romeo

...hath hid himself among these trees

To be consorted with the humorous night.

Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.

Of course, Romeo is now in love with Juliet, rather than with Rosaline. 

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