Hello, I am new here. I am in the process of writing an essay on Romeo and Juliet for 9th grade English. I was wondering what you think of it? Any comments, corrections, revisions or editing? Thanks.
Not all heroes are as perfect as some might think. In fact, in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, the tragic hero, Romeo is quite flawed. The play is set in Verona and is about two families, the Capulets and the Montagues, who are bitter enemies. Juliet, the daughter of Capulet, and Romeo, the son of Montague, fall in love and get married. Soon after their marriage, Mercutio, Romeo’s friend and Tybalt, Capulet’s nephew gets in a fight in which Mercutio is killed. Romeo seeks revenge and kills Tybalt. As punishment, Romeo is banished from Verona. With the help of Friar Lawrence, Juliet comes up with a plan to see Romeo by faking her death. Romeo, unaware of the plan, learns she has died and decides to end his own life. Juliet sees Romeo dead and then also kills herself. Romeo has many flaws but the most prominent is his impulsiveness. He tends to make irrational and quick decisions without thinking about the consequences of his actions. Romeo’s impulsiveness motivates his choices when falling in love and while in love, as well as when choosing to get into fights and ultimately when he decides to commit suicide, leading to the downfall of the tragic hero, Romeo.
From the beginning of the book, Romeo is quick and reckless when falling in love as well as while in love. An example is when Romeo seems to fall in love with Juliet very suddenly. Romeo is at a ball at the Capulet’s house. He thinks he is in love with a woman named, Rosaline, until he sees Juliet. At first sight of Juliet he proclaims, “Did my heart ever love till now? Forswear it, sight, / For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5. 59-60). Romeo is immediately convinced he is in love with Juliet because of her beauty, even though he has never talked to her and does not know who she is. His rash decision-making causes him to feel he is in love without knowing Juliet or thinking about the fact that she might be a Capulet as well as the consequences that loving an enemy might have. Romeo continues to be impulsive when he is in love with Juliet. Romeo goes to the Capulet mansion, climbs the walls and finds Juliet. While explaining how he had gotten there and found her he says, “And what love can do, that dares love attempt. / Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me” (2.2. 73-74). Romeo is desperate to see Juliet because he thinks he is in love. He knows he is in danger of being caught and subsequently killed for being on enemy property. He risks his life to see Juliet out of impulse without fully thinking through the danger he is putting himself in. The absence of this thought process allows him to fall in love with his enemy, which eventually leads to his demise.
The Friar also notices Romeo’s impulsive behavior. Romeo goes to see the Friar after falling out of love with Rosaline. At the beginning of the book, Romeo says he is completely in love with Rosaline. Soon after he confesses his love of Rosaline, he falls in love with Juliet. When telling the Friar about this change he says, “With Rosaline, my ghostly father? No. / I have forgot that name and that name’s woe” (2.3. 48-49). Romeo is quick to wipe Rosaline from his head within a matter of days of saying he was in love with her. He doesn’t stop and think about Rosaline compared to Juliet and just decides to forget her. The Friar goes on to say, “If e’er thou was thyself and these woes thine,/ Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline./ And art thou changed?” (2.3. 81-83) The Friar realizes Romeo’s erratic and impulsive behavior. He notices that Romeo quickly dropped Rosaline without thinking very much. Romeo rushes through most decisions in his life, including love. The Friar continues on and says, “Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast” (2.4. 101). The Friar is warning Romeo about his rash and sudden decision-making. The Friar knows that this behavior can lead to a mistake. He tells Romeo to slow down, stop and think before acting on something or making a decision. This warning could have stopped Romeo from fighting Tybalt or immediately killing himself. Unfortunately, Romeo ignores the Friar’s warning. He continues to be impulsive when making decisions, which leads to Romeo’s death.
Romeo’s impulsiveness also tends to allow him to get into fights. Romeo irrationally gets into a fight with Tybalt. Romeo’s friend, Mercutio, is in the streets on Verona and sees Tybalt. They get into a duel and Mercutio is killed. Romeo, seeking revenge for his friend’s death says “And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.-/… Either thou or I, or both, must go with him” (3.1 129, 134). Romeo lets his emotions take over and guide his actions. He decides to fight which results in Tybalt’s death while having no regard for his own life. He doesn’t think about possibly getting killed in the fight or getting in trouble for fighting in the streets. The Prince eventually punishes Romeo for fighting but is lenient because Romeo was seeking revenge for Mercutio, one of the Prince’s kinsmen. The prince banishes Romeo from Verona. This causes Juliet and the Friar to come up with a plan to fake Juliet’s death in order to see Romeo. Since Romeo is banished and the messenger is unable to contact him, Romeo doesn’t know about the plan. Romeo thinks Juliet is actually dead, which causes him to commit suicide, bringing about his own downfall. Romeo’s impulsiveness also causes him to get into a fight with Paris. On his way to go to Juliet’s tomb after he hears she is dead, he encounters a man. Immediately he says, “Wilt thou provoke me? The have at thee boy!” (5.3 70) Romeo doesn’t even see whom he is fighting but continues to fight and kill the man. When he sees he has killed Paris, a close kinsman of the Prince, he gets himself into deeper trouble, making him more desperate and more inclined to end his own life.
Finally, Romeo’s impulsive behavior continues all the way until the end of his life. Romeo’s friend goes to visits him after he is banished from Verona. His friend tells him that Juliet is dead, when in fact she is still alive. Romeo goes into a state of despair and desperation. Upon hearing the news of Juliet’s death, he says to his friend, Balthasar, “Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight. / Let’s see for means. O mischief, thou art swift/ To enter in the thoughts of desperate men” (5.1. 38-40). Romeo’s thoughts immediately go to suicide. He thinks he is so attached to Juliet that he cannot possibly continue on without her. He makes his decision without investigating further as to what happened with Juliet. He finds a pharmacist and buys a bottle of poison. Romeo plans to go to Juliet’s tomb, drink the poison and die next to her. Rather than go to the Friar first, Romeo decides he will take his own life because of his impulsive nature. Romeo’s impulsiveness causes him to commit suicide when in fact Juliet was not even dead and the whole tragedy could have been avoided.
Romeo’s constant impetuousness while dealing with love, when getting into fights and when he commits suicide, eventually leads to his downfall. His carelessness when falling in love with Juliet allows him to fall in love with an enemy. His spontaneous behavior gets him into fights with both Tybalt and Paris. In the end, this spontaneous behavior causes him to commit suicide without finding out more about what happened to Juliet. Romeo, the tragic hero of the play, is eventually brought to an end because of his impulsivity. All heroes are imperfect in one-way or another, but the ones that let their flaw take control are eventually meet their demise.