Would an Elizabethan audience/modern audience  believe Romeo's feelings are Genuine?my essay question is How does Shakespeare show how love affects Romeo in Act 1 Scene 1 contrasted with how Romeo...

Would an Elizabethan audience/modern audience  believe Romeo's feelings are Genuine?

my essay question is How does Shakespeare show how love affects Romeo in Act 1 Scene 1 contrasted with how Romeo feels in Act 2 scene 2?

I need to answer Would an elizabethan audience/modern audience believe romeo's feelings are genuine? Only refer to act 1 scene 1 and act 2 scene 2.
I also need to answer  What does Romeo's speech tell us about the role of men/women in elizabethan times?


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

Posted on

Your question concerning Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet raises a legitimate question.  Romeo's heart is broken by Rosaline when we first see him in Act I:i, but he quickly forgets her when he sees Juliet soon after.  Two elements of the play make this quick change of allegiances more believable than one might at first think.

First, Benvolio predicts it, in a sense.  When talking to Romeo about Romeo's need to forget Rosaline, he suggests to Romeo that he can forget her:

By giving liberty unto thine eyes.

Examine other beauties.  (Act I:i. 233-4)

This adds credibility to Romeo's quick change.  Looking at and for other beauties is, after all, the way you get over a beauty.

Second, the young ages of both Romeo and Juliet make their sudden infatuations believable.  If the two were thirty, a real problem in plausibility would exist.  But as early teenagers, their feelings seem plausible.

That said, I can't really speak for audiences, and whether or not an audience accepts the feelings between the two as legitimate would be largely dependent on how it is presented.  Judging by the popularity of the play, however, somebody must accept it and like watching the relationship develop.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

While Romeo and Juliet b William Shakespeare is a fine play that has stood the test of time it is not a romantic story. Neither Elizabethan or modern audiences would believe Romeo’s feelings for Juliet to be true. Shakespeare himself alludes to the fact that we are not meant to believe these emotions as the Friar chides Romeo for his rapidly changing feelings. First he is eternally in love with Rosalind, and then in less than 24 hours he is enraptured with Juliet.  In addition, women during Elizabethan times were not given free reign in public, and they were quite frequently considered a commodity and a source of physical pleasure not emotional fulfillment.

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