Does Romeo mature throughout the play Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo in Romeo and Juliet does not mature throughout the play. He acts impulsively and rashly at the beginning of the play when he casts off Rosaline, who he has claimed to love, for Juliet, and he acts impulsively and rashly at the end of the play when he rushes into Juliet's tomb with poison to kill himself. In addition, he places little value on his own life or the lives of others, which is another sign of his immaturity.

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Ultimately, I don't think Romeo matures throughout the play. He is pretty rash and impulsive throughout, rarely actually thinking through his decisions logically. Initially, he says that he is in "love" with Rosaline, but his statements make it clear that his feelings really only constitute lust. Romeo says that no...

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Ultimately, I don't think Romeo matures throughout the play. He is pretty rash and impulsive throughout, rarely actually thinking through his decisions logically. Initially, he says that he is in "love" with Rosaline, but his statements make it clear that his feelings really only constitute lust. Romeo says that no lovers' vows will induce her to sleep with him, nor will she "ope her lap to saint-seducing gold" (1.1.222). Rosaline has "sworn that she will still live chaste," and this makes Romeo miserable (1.1.225). Then, after he sees Juliet, he drops Rosaline like a hot potato.

To be fair, I do think that he loves Juliet, but I wouldn't necessarily classify love as the domain of only "mature" people, and certainly mature individuals feel lust as well. However, the same day as his marriage to Juliet, he kills her cousin, Tybalt, knowing full well that this will bring terrible consequences. Not that he considers those consequences ahead of time. Just before he kills Tybalt, he tells the cat-like Capulet, "Either thou or I, or both, must go with [Mercutio]," who Tybalt has just slain (3.1.134). In other words, Romeo is prepared to die then—just hours after he got married. After he learns that he has been exiled by the prince, he is ready to do an act of "damned hate upon [him]self" and take his own life (3.3.128).

Later, at Juliet's grave—to which he has rushed with deadly poison—he threatens his man, Balthasar's, life if Balthasar should stay in the graveyard and watch him. Then he fights Paris, telling him to "tempt not a desp'rate man" (5.3.59). He kills the count moments later. Then he kills himself. Romeo does not seem to have much value for life, whether his or anyone else's, and this seems to me to be a sign of immaturity. He is impulsive, rash, and places little value on life, and this is seen throughout the play.

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Romeo does indeed mature throughout Romeo and Juliet.  When we first meet him, Romeo is a callow, shallow seeming youth who thinks he is in love with Rosaline, but knows nothing of real love.  In Act 2, scene 3, when Romeo informs Friar Lawrence that he has "forgot" the name of Rosaline and is now in love with Juliet, the Friar replies, "Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!  Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken?  Young men's love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.  Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine hath wash'd thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!"  Now, unless one chooses to believe that Shakespeare's intent was to have Romeo and Juliet's love for one another be but another example of teenage infatuation, which would hardly seem the case given that this is the most popular love story of all time and that they are both willing to die rather than live without the other; one can only conclude that Shakespeare's purpose in starting with Romeo's infatuation for Rosaline was to contrast the idea of love with true love.  

However, the scene where Romeo's newfound maturity shines most clearly is in his confrontation with Paris outside of the Capulet tomb in V.iii.  When Paris attempts to arrest Romeo, who has illegally returned to Verona after being exiled, he says: "Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee.  Obey and go with me, for thou must die."  Romeo replies, "I must indeed, and therefore came I hither.  Good gentle youth, tempt not a desp'rate man.  Fly hence and leave me. . .I beseech thee, youth, put not another sin upon my head by urging me to fury: O, be gone!...Stay not, be gone; live, and hereafter say a madman's mercy bid thee run away."  Here, Romeo refers to Paris as a  "youth" twice and to himself as a "man" twice ("desp'rate man" and "a madman's mercy").  Clearly, Shakespeare wants us to see Romeo as the man in the tragic situation.  When we contrast his words and actions in the tragic conclusion to the play with the shallow figure he presented initially, it seems unquestionable that his love for Juliet has matured him dramatically.

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In my opinion, no. Other readers may disagree with me. That's the fun part about literature; although Beatty from Fahrenheit 451 would definitely disagree. I'm not a fan of Romeo, because I think that he never matures past the Petrarchan lover that Shakespeare introduces him as. 

At the start of the play, Romeo is introduced as a love sick, whiney teenager. He is "desperately" in love with Rosaline to the point that he is inconsolable.  He's acting like a huge drama queen. Even Friar Laurence knows this about Romeo. Laurence even tells Romeo that Romeo says lovers' quotes to Rosaline without really knowing what they mean. 

To me, Romeo moves on from Rosaline to Juliet in the blink of an eye. She is just another beautiful young lady for him to emotionally throw himself at. Romeo says the same kind of romantic stuff to Juliet that he said to Rosaline.  

I see Romeo as an emotionally driven character who makes snap judgments. Throughout the play, I just don't see how that changes. When Romeo learns of Juliet's death, he goes to an apothecary for poison. He DOES NOT do what he has done throughout the play, which is seek advice from Friar Laurence.  Had he done that, Romeo would have learned Juliet's plan and actual fate. Instead, though, Romeo acts the same way he did with Rosaline's denial of him. Romeo becomes so depressed and lovesick that he sees no reason for living anymore. The answer? Suicide. Over a girl he has known for three days.

No, I don't think Romeo matures throughout the play. 

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