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Juliet's character development in Romeo and Juliet

Summary:

Juliet's character development in Romeo and Juliet shows her transformation from a naive and obedient girl to a determined and independent young woman. Initially, she conforms to her family's expectations, but as she falls in love with Romeo, she becomes more assertive, making bold decisions and defying social norms to pursue her love, ultimately leading to her tragic end.

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How has Juliet's character changed since the beginning of Romeo and Juliet?

In the short length of Shakespeare's tragic drama, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet develops from a dutiful child into a young woman who at first is cautious, then becomes practical and thoroughly in love.

  • In Act I, Juliet comes when she is beckoned by her mother, and she dutifully replies, 

Madam, I am here. 
What is your will? (1.3.7-8)

And, when her mother suggests that she consider marrying "the valiant Paris," Juliet replies, "It is an honour I dream not of (1.3.70); nevertheless, she agrees to consider Paris out of respect for her parent,

I'll look to like, if looking liking move; 
But no more deep will I endart mine eye 
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. (1.3.101-103)

  • However, in Act I, Scene V, when Juliet meets Romeo, however, the child transforms into a young woman who is capable of considerable insight about love. With poise and a natural wisdom, Juliet speaks with Romeo in one half of a sonnet cautioning him against his lust, "And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss" (1.5.95).
  • Then, in Act II, Scene 2, Juliet demonstrates a maturity beyond her years. For, she is candid with herself in recognizing her feelings; moreover, she cautions Romeo that if he is found in her orchard, the guards will slay him. Further, when Romeo declares his passion for her, Juliet warns him not to swear against the moon

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, 
That monthly changes in her circled orb, 
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.(2.2.113-115)

  • But, later in this act as Juliet speaks with Romeo, she, too, becomes passionate and promises her love to her family's enemy. In fact, she is the one who suggests they marry the next day: "Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow" (2.2.150).
  • Juliet's love and loyalty to Romeo develops through the remainder of the play. Rather than obeying her parents' wish that she marry Paris, she defies fate and drinks the potion formulated by Friar Laurence. Her one desire is to be with Romeo. For, she even refuses to leave the tomb when the friar cautions her that the guards approach. "Go, get thee hence, for I will not away" (5.3.165). Instead, Juliet would rather remain with Romeo in death.

Juliet develops from a complaisant daughter into an independent-mined, passionate young woman who transcends family feuds and attempts to defy fate in her devotion and love for Romeo.

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How has Juliet's character changed since the beginning of Romeo and Juliet?

In terms of Friar Laurence's plan to save Juliet from marrying Paris, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it seems to be that the undertaking had too many holes in it to be successful.

From the very beginning, while the Nurse is overy talkative and at times annoying, she is completely dedicated to Juliet. In order for the plan to have worked, the Nurse had to be included. Instead, Juliet returns home from meeting with Friar Laurence, pretending she is sorry for arguing over her parents' desire that she marry Paris, and reports that she has every intention of submitting to their wishes. She says nothing to the Nurse.

NURSE:

See where she comes from shrift with merry look. (IV.ii.15)

[…]

JUL:

 [I] am enjoin'd

By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here

To beg your pardon. Pardon, I beseech you!

Henceforward I am ever rul'd by you. (20-23)

They should never have moved forward with the plan unless Romeo knew about it ahead of time. In sending Friar John to Romeo, there should have been some exigency in place in case he did not return for any reason. Besides the threat of plague that stopped Friar John, he could have had an accident or not found Romeo at home. And surely a child could have been found, with the promise of a reward or meal, to run to tell Friar Laurence that there was no way to warn Romeo.

In light of the hatred between the two families and the disaster that had already befallen the young lovers, Friar Laurence should have had the wherewithal to expect that any number of things could have gone wrong. Juliet can be excused because of her youth and inexperience in life.

If these things could not have been avoided, there should have been a contingency plan: Juliet did not have to fall into a sleep that mimicked death.

FRIAR:

If, rather than to marry Count Paris,

Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,

Then is it likely thou wilt undertake

A thing like death to chide away this shame,

That cop’st with death himself to scape from it;

And, if thou dar'st, I'll give thee remedy. (IV.i.72-77)

Juliet could simply have been given something that made her too ill to get out of bed. Or she might have run away secretly or gone into hiding with the help of Friar Laurence or even Benvolio.

If none of these situations could have been avoided, Friar Laurence should have been at Juliet's funeral bier to assist her when she woke. I would assume that using a drug of this kind would not have been a perfected science at the time. Had Friar Laurence stayed with her body, he would have been present to explain what happened to Romeo.

Murphy's law states that if anything can go wrong, rest assured it will go wrong. This is nothing new—the concept was probably old in Shakespeare's time: Friar Laurence should have been prepared for disaster. Of course if that were the case, the play would not have been a tragedy.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

Over the course of the play, Juliet becomes more willful, headstrong, and assertive. Though she dearly loves her parents, she gets to the stage where she stops listening to them. They've already made the decision to marry her off to the drippy Paris, and she wants no part of it. So instead of playing the role of the dutiful daughter as just about all young ladies of her age would've done in those days, she brazenly defies them by secretly marrying Romeo, the man of her dreams.

In displaying such a remarkable degree of defiance, Juliet shows extraordinary agency for someone of her age and gender in Renaissance Italy. She doesn't just rely on the assistance of Friar Lawrence to defy her parents; she takes the initiative at every turn, showing herself to be much more mature than her beloved.

Even the manner of her death shows a fair degree of maturity. Whereas Romeo takes poison, which is a passive form of suicide, Juliet actually plunges a dagger into herself, which is much more active. In doing so, Juliet has once again upended traditional gender roles, just as she did when she tempered Romeo's gushingly romantic rhetoric during the famous balcony scene.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

The audience first encounters Juliet in act 1, scene 3, which consists of a dialogue in which both Lady Capulet and the Nurse have a great deal to say, while Juliet is almost silent. Juliet's longest speech comes at the end of the scene, when her mother asks whether she will be able to return Paris's love. Juliet replies:

I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Not only will Juliet try to like Paris, she will like him exactly as much as her mother tells her to like him, and no more. By any standards, this would make Juliet an exceptionally dutiful daughter. However, her silence at this point in the play leaves to the audience (and, to some extent, the director and the actress playing Juliet) the question of how and how much she changes. Is she really as dutiful as this, or has she simply learned to hide her thoughts and feelings from her mother?

Even if we assume that Juliet is initially good at concealing her true thoughts, there is no doubt that falling in love transforms her in several ways. She becomes astonishingly eloquent and expressive, speaking many of the most memorable lines in the play and even critiquing Romeo's more conventional rhetoric when he attempts to swear by the moon. Friar Lawrence immediately recognizes that Juliet is the more intelligent and responsible of the two.

Even Juliet's death requires grit and resolution. Plunging a dagger into one's own breast is such a difficult thing to do that even classical heroes, such as Ajax, preferred to fall on their swords when committing suicide. All these qualities may well have been latent in Juliet at the beginning of the play, but they are certainly intensified and brought to light in the fews days over which the action takes place.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

One of the greatest transformations in Juliet is her loss of a childlike view of the world and her growth into a woman with her own strong convictions. When her mother asks Juliet how she feels about getting married, Juliet replies, "It is an honor that I dream not of." Since she's not even fourteen yet, it makes sense that she hasn't yet spent time planning out this upcoming important transition of life. This statement reinforces that Juliet is still quite childlike in her views.

After meeting Romeo, however, things change quickly. Juliet transforms from a child who willingly submits to the wishes of her parents into a woman with a tenacious strength in her own right. After Romeo is banished, Juliet must make some tough decisions about her future. She considers in act 4, scene 3, that the friar could have possibly given her a poison to kill her (and not simply a potion that makes her appear dead), thereby clearing himself if any scandal erupts. She considers the horror of awakening in a tomb of dead bodies, wondering if the confinement will drive her mad. Yet she overcomes her fears and decides to move forward with her plans, however it all turns out. She must try to be with Romeo, and this act of independent resolve solidifies Juliet's transformation into a woman with a will of her own.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

At the beginning of the play, Juliet is quite obedient, even submissive, to her parents.  When her mother first tells her about the County Paris's suit and asks if she could love him, Juliet responds, "I’ll look to like if looking liking move. / But no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly" (1.3.99-101).  She basically tells her mother that she'll check him out and see if she can like him, but she will not like him any more than her mother authorizes her to.  In other words, she's absolutely willing to consider marriage to someone who is basically a stranger because her mother desires it.

By the end of the play, Juliet's done with being obedient.  She rejects her parents' demand that she marry Paris, leading her father to say that he will cast her off, and she can live in the streets if she will not obey.  When her mother, too, washes her hands of her, and the nurse (who has always been her more staunch ally) advises her to marry Paris and give up on Romeo (who's been banished), Juliet decides to deceive them all.  She pretends to go to Friar Lawrence's cell to confess her sins, but she really goes to him to ask for his help.  Rather than obey her parents now, Juliet is willing to risk life and home and everyone and everything she knows to be with Romeo.

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How do the characters of Romeo and Juliet develop throughout the play?

The characters of Romeo and Juliet develop throughout the play because of their decisions to be independent of their families and to live, however briefly, as adults. Their relationship and decision to marry and then to die shows how far their characters develop in the tragedy.

It is important to remember that Romeo and Juliet would be considered children or adolescents in modern society. Juliet’s nurse says that Juliet is not even 13 years old in the scene in which Lady Capulet asks Nurse to call Juliet.

Even her mother believes that Juliet is too young to marry at this point, although some other young girls have already married, and the family discusses marriage for Juliet. Yet, when Juliet meets Romeo, she decides to disobey her family’s wishes and marry him. The action to marry also requires planning and subterfuge, which is something that the more innocent Juliet of the earlier scenes did not seem capable of.

It is also important to remember that when the play opens, Romeo is too heartbroken over Rosaline to even consider dancing at the Capulet’s party. Shakespeare shows how immature and fickle he is by how he is struck once he sees Juliet and how quickly he forgets Rosaline. Yet, once he and Juliet fall in love, they make decisions that neither would have even considered at the beginning of the play.

The reader knows that their decisions will prove ruinous to the young couple, but they choose to pursue their adult goals and accept the consequences as adults. By behaving independently and making decisions that were unthinkable when they were less mature, they have gone from being young lovers mooning over one another to two adult characters who take control of their lives (and deaths).

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How do the characters of Romeo and Juliet develop throughout the play?

As the play takes place over a very short period of time, Romeo and Juliet don't have too much opportunity to grow, but falling in love does change them.

Juliet starts the play as a pliable daughter not sure of what she wants. When her father brings up Paris as possible suitor, she has no objections and expresses her openness to the idea of him as a husband. It is only after she meets and falls in love with Romeo that she develops an independent set of opinions. From that time forward, her loyalties and heart will be with Romeo, even when she is badly shaken by the news he has killed her beloved cousin Tybalt. After Romeo comes into her life, Juliet becomes, to her father's distress, suddenly resistant to marriage with Paris. She knows her own mind well enough, at the play's end, to realize that she would rather take her own life than live without Romeo.

Romeo starts out as a character who is stuck in a state of limbo over his unrequited love for Rosaline. He grows from a listless lover into a person actively engaged in love for Juliet, energized and enlivened by the fact she returns his ardor. This motivates him to marry her and to try to avoid fighting with Tybalt. Romeo becomes purposeful rather than simply drifting through life.

Both characters appear to find themselves through love of one another and to base their decisions on that love.

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How do the characters of Romeo and Juliet develop throughout the play?

Juliet begins the play as a beloved daughter, still under the protective wing of her nurse, doing nothing without her nurse's knowledge if not her mother's.  When her mother presents the idea of Paris as her future husband, Juliet agrees to consider him. She says, "no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly" (1.4.104-105).  In other words, she will not permit herself to feel more than what her parents deem proper.  By the end of the play, however, she is more than willing to completely disobey them; she refuses the engagement to Paris procured by her father, even though he essentially disowns her as a result.  Further, and perhaps more significantly, she hides her plans even from her beloved Nurse when she drinks the potion that makes her seem dead.  Juliet develops total independence from her parents and the Nurse by the play's end.

Romeo develops some independence and maturity when he becomes galvanized by his love for Juliet.  Initially, he is really mopey and kind of whiny about Rosaline and her vow of chastity, but once he meets Juliet, he is all action.  First, he climbs over her garden walls and then he arranges for a marriage ceremony with the friar.  He is coolheaded when Tybalt insults him in the street and, even when goaded by his best friend, he perseveres in demonstrating his newfound maturity.  Then, when he does not receive the news about Juliet and the friar's plan, he storms her grave, prepared to end his life to be with her.  Sadly, inaction would have served them both better, but his love for Juliet pushes him to act when his feelings for Rosaline never did.

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How do the characters of Romeo and Juliet develop throughout the play?

Both Romeo and Juliet mature during the play. In Act I, scene i, Romeo is in love with Rosaline without hope, for she has sworn to remain chaste and single. He is moody and depressed, and in the next scene, when Benvolio suggests he attend the Capulets' ball in order to find a new love, he only agrees so that he will have the opportunity of gazing on Rosaline. As soon as he sees Juliet, however, he forgets his infatuation with Rosaline as he truly falls in love.

Romeo's love for Juliet helps him see beyond the brawl between his family and the Capulets so that in III.i, he tries to stop the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio and even steps between them. He only fights Tybalt after Mercutio has been killed and he feels he must revenge his friend's death. Again, in Act V, he immediately makes plans when he hears of Juliet's supposed death, and when he kills Paris in his attempt to get to Juliet, he honors Paris's wish of being laid next to Juliet in death.

In the beginning of the play Juliet is the model young and innocent daughter. When asked if she would like to be married, she replies, "It is an honor that I dream not of." But after she marries Romeo, Juliet matures beyond her fourteen years and assumes the responsibilities of a wife. She gives up her dependency on her nurse and risks pain and death to remain true to Romeo.

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How do the characters of Romeo and Juliet develop throughout the play?

At the opening of the play, the audience meets Romeo who is melancholy (sad) about life in general. He seems much like a spoiled boy. We meet Juliet, who has yet to experience life and love. As the play progresses within its short time span of only days, Romeo falls intensely in love, commits murder, gets married, goes into hiding, thinks his true love is dead, and then kills himself by drinking poison. Juliet also falls intensely in love, defies her parents' wishes, gets married, takes a dangerous sleeping draught to pretend she is dead, awakes to find Romeo, her true love, dead, and kills herself. I would say that these two young lovers' characters go through quite dramatic emotional development in this tragedy!

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How does Romeo's character change over the course of the play?

Romeo, at the beginning of the play, is rather a loner, keeping to himself after being rejected by Rosaline. However, once Romeo becomes infatuated with Juliet, his personality becomes more lively. As he falls in love with Juliet, he becomes solely focused on his love for her and his desire to be with her in spite of their families' generational feud. Romeo becomes more assured that his feelings for Juliet are much more than the feelings of infatuation he had for Rosaline. Romeo's character grows in the sense that he is self-assured of his love. However, his character also takes on an obsessiveness that ultimately kills him, as he can not imagine living without his beloved Juliet. Romeo, by the end of the play, can not find a strong enough reason to live after Juliet's death, and so he takes his own life. This progression, from rapidly changing his affections from Rosaline to Juliet to killing himself after Juliet's death, certainly shows that he has changed immensely throughout the play.

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How does Romeo's character change over the course of the play?

The biggest change in Romeo seems to be in his willingness to take action. Initially, Romeo spends long hours wandering around the woods by himself, shuttered into a dark room. When he meets Juliet (the sun), he comes out of his darkness literally and metaphorically.

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How does Romeo's or Juliet's character change throughout the play?

Romeo worries that Juliet's love is causing him to become effeminate. He finds himself not desiring to fight Tybalt. This is unusual since he and Tybalt have been long-time enemies.

Even Mercutio comments on Romeo's submissiveness when Tybalt tries to taunt Romeo.

MERCUTIO

O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.

Draws

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?

Romeo does not desire to fight anymore. Juliet's love has changed him. He comments that he has become effeminate due to Juliet's love and that his reputation has been stained. He has allowed Mercutio to be stabbed by Tybalt who was really trying to kill Romeo.

ROMEO

This gentleman, the prince's near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stain'd
With Tybalt's slander,--Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper soften'd valour's steel!

Romeo has changed. Love has made him weak. He is no longer a fighter. He is a lover. Clearly, Romeo is not happy about this change after Mercutio dies. He determines that he has to avenge Mercutio's death so he kills Tybalt. After Tybalt dies, Romeo calls himself fortune's fool. He considers himself fortunate to not have been killed or either his fortune is in finding Juliet. Nonetheless, he has acted foolishly in killing Juliet's cousin.

ROMEO

This shall determine that.

They fight; TYBALT falls

BENVOLIO

Romeo, away, be gone!
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed: the prince will doom thee death,
If thou art taken: hence, be gone, away!

ROMEO

O, I am fortune's fool!

Romeo has become a fool for love.

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In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how does Friar Laurence's character change throughout the story?

It can be said that we see Friar Laurence change with respect to how he acts upon his principles.

For instance, it is not clear that he truly believes that Romeo and Juliet genuinely love each other. When Romeo first tells Friar Laurence of his love for Juliet, Friar Laurence declares, "young men's love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes" (Act 2, Scene 3). However, for moral and political reasons, he agrees to marry the couple immediately, because he believes that their marriage may put an end to the war between their families. On the one hand, Friar Laurence is upholding his moral responsibility to ensure that his parishioners are peaceful and loving towards each other, but he is doing it at the expense of making a holy marriage he feels is ill-judged and ill-timed, thereby letting his moral responsibilities towards performing marriages slide. In the scene where Romeo and Juliet are together in his cell, just before he marries them, he reminds us that he thinks they are being too hasty when he tells Romeo, "Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast" (Act 2, Scene 6). He even preaches to the couple that he feels their violent, passionate love is unwise when he says, "These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder." In other words, he believes that their violent, passionate love is doomed to fail, but agrees to marry them any way, and all for the sake of trying to unite their families.

However, though he makes it evident that he feels the couple's marriage is  foolish and could end violently, he does not council Juliet with the same wisdom when she comes to him for a way to get out of her betrothal to Paris. Instead of continuing to preach to Juliet that their hasty marriage was unwise and doomed to failure, he immediately agrees to help her and devises the plan to fake her death.

Hence, throughout the play, we constantly see Friar Laurence change with respect to deciding which moral obligations he should uphold and which he should drop.

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Why and how has Romeo has changed from the beginning of the play to the end of the play in Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo is moody, immature, and impulsive as the story begins.  He is also sensitive and compassionate though.  As the story continues, Romeo matures somewhat, but maintains these basic characteristics.

Romeo’s sensitivity and compassion, as well as his brooding, moody nature, is evident from the very beginning when he sees the aftermath of the brawl.

What fray was here?

Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.

Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.

Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! (Act 1, Scene 1)

While this compassion is generally a positive trait, it is also Romeo’s undoing when combined with his other traits—impulsiveness and immaturity.  When he interferes in the sword-fight between Mercuito and Tybalt, he causes Mercutio’s death and his own banishment.

At the end of the play, Romeo really has not changed and learned much.  He still risks his life to return to the city, and impulsively kills himself when he thinks Juliet is dead.  While he is a bit more mature for having been banished, he still returns when he shouldn’t.  His rash actions cause Juliet's real death.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo changes as he gains greater depth, maturity, and strength of purpose throughout Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. At the beginning of the play, as his friend Mercutio never tires of pointing out, Romeo is a shallow and stereotypical lover. His passion for Rosaline appears to be based on very little, and he instantly abandons it when he sees Juliet.

Friar Laurence initially believes that Romeo's love for Juliet is of the same type as his conventional infatuation with Rosaline. However, after his marriage to Juliet, Romeo grows as a character. He tries to make peace with Tybalt and the other Capulets and only retaliates when Tybalt's aggression leads to Mercutio's death.

By the end of the play, there is no doubt about the depth of Romeo's love for Juliet, which has also made his character deeper. Love is a serious matter for him now, and he is willing to die for it. The seriousness of his situation even leads him to muse philosophically on what is wrong with the world, such as when he describes the gold he gives to the apothecary as poisonous.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo is an impulsive and changeable adolescent who is in love with love. If the play wasn't so filled with tragic events, we could almost laugh at Romeo over how quickly he moves from Rosaline to Juliet.

As the play opens, Romeo's father approaches Romeo's friend Benvolio, worried that Romeo is moping around all the time. Benvolio informs him that Romeo is in unrequited love with Rosaline and promises his father to try to take Romeo out and introduce him to other girls.

When Mercutio and Benvolio persuade him to go to the Capulet masquerade ball with them, Romeo considers it utterly pointless. He declares that there could never, ever, possibly be any woman for him other than Rosaline. However, he is hardly at party a few minutes when he sees Juliet, looking like a brilliant jewel that darkens everyone else in contrast. He then forgets Rosaline on the spot and instantly falls head over heels in love with Juliet. If your head is spinning, you are not alone: his good friend Mercutio is still ribbing him about Rosaline after Romeo has already made plans to marry Juliet.

Romeo lives with utter intensity in whatever moment he happens to be in, thinking that what he feels in that moment is what he will feel forever and ever. This behavior can be typical of adolesence, when young people are are grabbing life and holding it with both arms. Friar Laurence warns Romeo to calm down and stand back so that he doesn't burn out the love he has for Juliet, but that is not Romeo's way of approaching life.

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How does Juliet's character evolve in Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo's character changes throughout Romeo and Juliet as his love for Juliet appears to uplift him and as he gains a greater recognition of the sanctity of human life. Romeo first makes his appearance in act 1, scene 1, when he is in despair over his unrequited love for Rosaline. In response to Benvolio’s greeting, Romeo says,

Is the day so young? … Ay me, sad hours seem long.

Romeo is full of self-pity and sadness because Rosaline does not return his feelings. He speaks of the “grief” he feels because of his unrequited love for her. His emotions of grief and despair seem disproportionate to the cause of his unhappiness.

When later he meets and seems to fall in love with Juliet, we gain further insight into just how immature Romeo is at this point. He is easily able to transfer his affections from one young woman to another. Nevertheless, as his love for Juliet grows, he seems to mature and to also gain insight into how needless the fighting between their families that makes their love impossible and even dangerous is.

When the play opens, he has a youth’s view of human life, without real understanding of its value. He tells Juliet that “there lies more peril in thine eye [t]han twenty of their [her kinsmen’s] swords,” as he does not understand the true significance and value of human life. However, later in act 3, scene 1, he refuses to fight Tybalt and tells him,

Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee

Doth much excuse the appertaining rage

To such a greeting. Villain am I none.

Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me not.

It would seem that at this point, he recognizes the value of human life and the importance of family relationships, as well as the foolishness of the feud between the Capulets and Montagues. Nevertheless, although he has respect for human life beyond anything he felt earlier and appears to have matured, in a fit of fury over Mercutio’s death, he slays Tybalt and becomes a tragic figure.

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How does Romeo change from the start of Act I to the end?

Since Romeo has only three days in which to effect any personality change, little happens within him.  For the most part, he remains impetuous, emotionally involved with fate--

Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,

Shall bitterly begin his fearful date...(1.4.13)

and later, yet feeling the control of fate in his life, he declares, "Then I defy you, stars!"(5.1.24)--and idealistically in love.  Perhaps the only change in Romeo is the alteration of his attitude toward the Capulets: While he has hated them as a true Montague should since the families have long been involved in a vendetta, after having married Juliet, Romeo softened in his feelings toward the Capulets.  His profession of love to Tybalt in Act III--

          I do protest I never injured thee,

But love thee better than thou canst devise

Till thou shalt know the reason of my love.

And so, good Capulet--which name I tender

As dearly as mine own--be satisfied. (3.1.68-71)

--attests to this.

Still, there is some modification in Romeo's personality. Prior to his secret marriage to Juliet, Romeo was known as a rather reasonable young man.  But, his reactionary slaying of Tybalt in Act III, along with his rash murdering of anyone who enters Juliet's tomb indicates that in his desperate love for Juliet, Romeo lost his reasonableness.  Truly, in Romeo, "The violent delights have violent ends." 

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How does Capulet change during the course of the play Romeo and Juliet?

Lord Capulet has many different "hats" to wear throughout the play.  In the first scene he is calling for his sword to help his family fight against the Montagues.  Then in the evening of his own feast, he not only tells Tybalt to back off and leave Romeo alone, he ends up yelling at him when Tybalt questions his authority.

"He shall be endured:
What, goodman boy! I say, he shall: go to;
Am I the master here, or you? go to.
You'll not endure him! God shall mend my soul!
You'll make a mutiny among my guests!
You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man!"

Then when Paris asks for Juliet's hand in marriage, he says she's too young.  That was at first.  Later in Act III, he and Paris decide perhaps she should marry him.  So he sets it up.  When Juliet says she will not marry Paris, he all but disowns her.

"Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face"

Then at the end, Capulet offers his hand in reconciliation to Lord Montague.  That is a very roller-coaster-style life for these few days.

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Where and how does Romeo change throughout Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo changes in a few key places.  When the audience first meets Romeo, he is a love sick, whiny teenager.  He's simply lost in grief that Rosaline does not reciprocate his love for her.  It's actually really funny. She would rather be a nun than date Romeo.  Seriously.  

Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

A few scenes later, Romeo is hopelessly in love with Juliet.  He's smitten with her beauty and grace, and she becomes the next target of his all consuming love.  Because Romeo is now in love with a Capulet, he no longer sees the point in fighting the Capulets.  That's why Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt.  Romeo's a lover, not a fighter.  

Of course that all changes after Tybalt kills Mercutio.  Then Romeo changes into a lover and a fighter.   

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