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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare'sRomeo and Juliet, the male half of the title couple is important for a couple of reasons.  The first is that his spotting of Juliet is what sets the entire romance in motion.  The drama propels towards its inevitable end because he spots Juliet and becomes entranced with her beauty.  She does not seek him out as much as he seeks her out.  Additionally, the romance between both of them takes off, in large part, due to his seeking her out and his desire for her.  Romeo is also important because of his actions once recognizing that he is in love, or believes to be in love, with Juliet.  His killing of Tybalt helps to deepen the fundamental divide between both families, making his love of Juliet even more precarious and difficult in terms of supporting.  His maturation by the end of the drama in recognizing that taking his own life seems to be the only way that he and his love can remain together provides half of the resolution to the drama's narrative.  Finally, I think that Romeo, as a character, is representative of the passion and intensity of youthful love, both in the drama and outside of it.  This makes him a very compelling and important character in the play and in literature, in general.