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Explain How Shakespeare Presents the Characters of Romeo and Juliet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By AshTheLass
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Explain how Shakespeare presents the characters of
Romeo and Juliet in Act 1

The famous love story by William Shakespeare depicts the romance between two youngsters who ignorantly fall in love without realising the danger their affections contain. Romeo, the only son of Montague, unknowingly falls for the beautiful Juliet, who is the only daughter of Capulet, his father’s arch enemy. It is truly love at first sight.

When we first meet Romeo, he is presented as a character that is insanely in love yet heartbroken and has been taken over by these feelings. However he does not seem himself as he says, “I have lost myself, I am not here, this is not Romeo, has some other where”. We can tell that this is not the real Romeo that we are seeing as he talks in the third person, therefore referring to himself as a whole other person. Shakespeare doesn’t allow Romeos true personality to appear as Romeo says that he is not himself at the moment. Also, this makes the audience wonder what kind of a person he truly is, because although he is depressed that Rosaline does not return his love, he is still saying how much he loves her.

Romeo is also presented as confused through his mixture of feelings and the words that he uses. He uses many oxymorons’ such as, “oh heavy lightness, oh serious vanity...feather of lead.....” This shows that Romeo is extremely confused as the oxymoron show that he isn't thinking straight and maybe his feelings are perplexing him further. In a way, this presents Romeo as a hopeless case as he has no idea what he is saying as he is so deeply thrown into a spiral of depression and love.

When Romeo first sets eyes on Juliet, he falls for her beauty immediately. His passionate feelings are shown when he says, “she doth teach the torches to burn bright”. This tells us that Romeo thinks Juliet has a power from which she can even make torches…...

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