Romeo and Juliet are two characters portrayed excellently by Shakespeare in his play, Romeo and Juliet. The play is famous for its love story and the portrayal of the most reputed love characters. Romeo and Juliet have their own personalities, which were liked by other characters of the play. Shakespeare has created Romeo with all the amicable qualities and bestowed Juliet with a loving personality. Romeo falls in Juliet’s love at her first sight because of her attractive and adorable personality. There are some contrasts in their personalities but with all those contrasts, they love each other and die for each other.
In the beginning, Romeo is shown heartbroken for his unrequited love for Rosaline. He shows interest in poetry and is also shown as a devoted lover but as soon as he sees Juliet, he forgets Rosaline and falls in love with Juliet. Romeo is liked even by his enemies because of his amiable personality and his character (Nevo 129). Juliet belongs to the Capulet family, which is involved in a feud with Montague family, which is Romeo’s family. Therefore, it is quite clear that the both the lovers belong to families that are enemies to each other.
Like other characters of Shakespeare, Romeo is also portrayed as an emotional character who believes too much in love. He remains disheartened and sad for his initial love for Rosaline. He is obsessed for her love. He remains occupied with the imaginations of Rosaline. In the beginning, it appears that Romeo has a passive personality but later on, when he meets and starts loving Juliet, his personality is somewhat changed. After meeting Juliet, he states that he has never seen such beauty in his life ever.
Romeo’s love despair and anguish for Rosaline dies as soon as he sees Juliet. Here, another part of his personality is seen. He switches quite easily from Rosaline to Juliet on the basis of Juliet’s beauty and her lovely personality. In the play, it is shown that Romeo feels love for Rosaline but never tries to woo her while after meeting Juliet, he at once tries to woo her as it is Juliet in which, he finds his true love and a love partner (Mackenzie 36). Romeo is aware of the feud that is prevalent between Montague and Capulet family; still, he is unable to keep him away from Juliet. Knowing about the feud, both of them commit themselves to each other.
Romeo shows his utmost sincerity and loyalty to Juliet. When Romeo reaches the part organized by Capulet family for seeing Rosaline, Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin wants to fight Romeo but Capulet asks him to leave Romeo alone because he respects him as a gentleman (Lucking 117). Capulet has listened nothing negative and indecent about Romeo due to which, he likes his personality.
Romeo after listening to her beloved’s death is so much pledged and vowed in her love that he in his rashness, gets poison and takes it after reaching her grave (Nevo 136). Romeo is also shown as a strong willed hero who does what he vows for. He is also shown as a courageous and daring person as he is not shown as losing a fight (Mackenzie 41). Romeo has deep regard and love for his friends and family as when Tybalt kills Mercutio, he is killed by Romeo in a fury. Romeo also kills himself when he finds his beloved dead. Therefore, Romeo is emotional, loving, courageous, brash and sincere. His impetuousness and brashness cause his and Juliet’s death.
Juliet also falls in love with Romeo at his first sight and made a hasty decision in marrying him. She was also aware like Romeo that Montague family and Capulet family are enemies; still she took the step of marrying Romeo. She appears to be much sensible than Romeo as unlike Romeo, she ponders over her situation. He took a fake poison that gave her a fake death. However, after seeing Romeo dead, she found no other way than stabbing herself and settled her in deathbed with him (Lucking 121). Like Romeo, she also made many hasty decisions such as her marriage with Romeo and in the end her death. After Romeo’s death, she found her existence impossible due to which, she stabbed her.
Juliet is more attached to her nurse than her mother because of the care and love that she receives from the nurse. The nurse also helps Juliet in her marriage to Romeo. It is the nurse who understands the problems faced by Juliet and she also supports Juliet in her decisions.
Like Romeo, Juliet also shows a transformation in her personality. Before meeting Romeo, she was just like a child and is totally obedient to her parents but afterwards, she became independent as she took her own decisions. She married Romeo with the consent of her parents and she opposed her parents when they made her to marry Paris (Mackenzie 27). Later on, she made a plan with Friar Laurence related to her fake death. All her actions show her maturity and ambitiousness towards her mission of uniting with Romeo. She is in no way ready to marry Paris and accepts death in place of marrying Paris.
Both the lovers are doomed to death. They take hasty and impetuous decisions listening to their heart only due to which, their death is caused. In spite of knowing about their family feud, they are unable to stop themselves from loving each other. They remained sincere and loyal to each other and gave each other the utmost respect. They lived and died for each other. They loved each other because of not only their appearances but their personalities, which allowed them to be united. They married secretly thinking it an obligation for their love and remained loyal to each other till the end. They shared life as well as death.
Gibbons, Brian (ed.). Romeo and Juliet. The Arden Shakespeare Second Series. London: Thomson Learning, 1980.
Lucking, David. “Uncomfortable Time in Romeo and Juliet”. English Studies 82 (2) (2001): 115–126.
Mackenzie, Clayton G. “Love, sex and death in Romeo and Juliet”. English Studies 88 (1) (2007): 22–42.
Nevo, Ruth. Tragic Form in Shakespeare. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972, pg. 126-140.