Essay Romeo and Juliet
“The older you are, the wiser you get. ” is a well known proverb that provides insight in human tendencies to be impulsive, perfunctory and hasty. Part of maturing as a human being comes from understanding a predicament, deducing a solution and carefully reasoning whether there will be any consequences and if they would be worth it. Impulsive acts flaunt incompetence and immaturity. Albeit embarrassing regardless, there are often more resilient consequences than merely looking foolish for acting in manners that jeopardize goals and contravene strategies of success.
Failing to analyze any situation appropriately in the heat of the moment incurs undesirable outcomes such as a punishment of some sort or in some cases, death. This is the message that William Shakespeare tries to convey in his infamous play, Romeo and Juliet. This play revolves around characters from two rival families that elicit their deaths and that of several others due to their impulsive personalities. Romeo, Juliet and Tybalt each let a particular emotion cloud their judgement, causing them to make decisions with no prior thoughts of consideration for consequences.
Their lack of will to resist and control their desires becomes the cause of their demise. When experiencing certain emotions, one’s thoughts are clouded and it becomes difficult for them to make rational decisions. Romeo is a very impulsive character. It’s as if he suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. He tends to over react and his impulsivity puts him in several difficult situations before it kills him. Firstly, Romeo is very dramatic. His feelings are superficial and shallow.
This is established at the very beginning of the play when Romeo says: “Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will! Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here? ” . (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 165) Romeo dramatically muses about his “love” for Rosaline to Benvolio for a lengthy period before he abruptly changes the topic of discussion momentarily to where they will eat dinner.
This indicates an impulsive and whimsical tendency. This quotation helps enforce character development into play, allowing the reader to infer the lead character’s major personality traits and flaws. Albeit at a very small and irrelevant scale, Romeo’s tendency to act over-dramatic puts himself in state of mental distress unnecessarily. Secondly, Romeo’s impetuosity is made very unambiguous and perceptive to the reader during the famous “balcony scene” in the play. The following conversation takes place between Romeo and Juliet in Act 2, Scene 2: ROMEO: With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out, And what love can do that dares love attempt; Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me. JULIET: If they do see thee, they will murder thee. ROMEO: Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity. (Act 2, Scene 2, Line 65-70) Romeo proclaims his love for a woman he met less than 24 hours ago, making his impulsivity indisputable. He displays complete disregard for the safety of his life by being on Capulet property just to catch a glimpse of a girl – Capulet’s only daughter and prize – he met the evening earlier. His very presence in such a place at midnight is impulsive on its own, but to claim to not value his life in lengthy, redundant romantic speeches is careless, immature and unacceptably lackadaisical.
Fortunately, Romeo escapes the property unseen. If he had been caught, he would have been killed. This shows Romeo’s poor decision making skills, his disregard for carefully choosing his decisions and how they could have gotten him in danger. Lastly, Romeo gets himself killed because, yet again, he does not reflect on his actions before executing them. In Act 5, Scene 1, Romeo says to Apothecary, “Let me have a dram of poison… ” (Act 5, Scene 1, Line 60).
Romeo utters this statement in severe melancholy upon hearing of Juliet’s apparent death in Verona. Him hastily travelling to a druggist emphasizes on Romeo’s tendency to overreact and not give any apparent thought to his own life or his future. At this point, Romeo’s character traits are made very clear to the reader. In conclusion, careless behaviour is potentially cataclysmic for the person impulsive and the people around him. This is especially true when an individual allows an emotion to cloud their judgement.
Since Romeo allowed himself to get attached to Juliet quickly, lustfully he found himself in a miserable position where Juliet, Lady Montague, Mercutio, Tybalt and Paris die because he impulsively decided to fall in love with a member of the Capulet family without thinking of the long term consequences and in his grief he decided to take his own life mindlessly. Similar to Romeo, Juliet is also depicted as an impulsive character who neglects rational thinking when flooded with emotions. This is made particularly evident during the balcony scene when Juliet says, Three words, dear Romeo, and good-night indeed. If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrowBy one that I’ll procure to come to thee Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite, And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay And follow thee my lord throughout the world” . (Act 2, Scene 1, Line 145). This quotation testifies to Juliet’s callow and childlike decision to consider a boy she met hours ago as her husband. Marriage is genuine and a huge step in someone’s life.
It is brought together by hundreds of tiny threads which are sewn by the couple over years, not within a few hours. The idea of falling in love, the lust for Romeo and the excitement of rebellion causes Juliet to not think rationally. The lust she feels causes her to follow her heart rather than her mind. The man she consents to marrying is part of a rival family and pursuing marriage with Romeo would be redundant and dangerous as another brawl would break out between the two families before they would succumb to the marriage. Had she thought rationally and considered the consequences beforehand rather than acting impulsively she ould have saved lives of many others, including her own. Fortunately for Romeo, she wasn’t caught conversing with him while he was under the balcony. Impulsivity is a repercussion of impatience. Patience is a virtue and in this case, a life saving one. However, although short-term trouble was avoided successfully, one is not always guaranteed to be so lucky. This is demonstrated later in the play when Juliet says to Friar Lawrence, “Be not so long to speak. I long to die if what thou speak’st speak not of remedy” (Act 4, Scene 1, Line 65). Juliet is devastated when Lady Capulet forces her to make Paris her mate for life.
In desperate search for a solution, she goes to Friar with a dagger and announces her plan of suicide, blackmailing him of proceeding with the aforementioned plan if Friar doesn’t give her an alternative. Friar suggests taking a coma-inducing potion which will fake her death, after which she could elope with Romeo. In utter incoherence and mad impulsivity, she takes the potion without speaking with Romeo. Relying on Friar and a messenger to give Romeo the message, she irresponsibly fabricates a scene of death and gets put in the Capulet crypt. Upon Romeo’s arrival there, he has a confrontation with Paris.
They duel till Paris’s death, after which the derangement of the whole situation takes control of Romeo’s senses, causing him to drink poison and die. Her impulsivity is not left unpunished this time as she causes the death of two people close to her and the death of Lady Montague later on. Failing to think the consequences beforehand causes the person and the people around him/her to suffer mental or physical injuries to potentially huge extents. Lastly, Juliet’s impulsivity is made absolute when she mindlessly decides to take her life. In Act 5, Juliet’s final words testify that her final impulsive action is detrimental.
She says, “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger, This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die” (Act 5, Scene 3, Line 69). Upon witnessing Romeo’s deceased body laying lifelessly next to an empty flask of poisonous drug, Juliet grabs Romeo’s dagger and stabs herself to her demise. She does not think about the consequences of killing herself for a boy she met less than a week ago. She sees no escape other than immediately killing herself, leaving the rest of her life unlived. Therefore, in conclusion, inability to appropriately weigh their options makes people take decisions impulsively and impulsivity can be injurious.
In Juliet’s case, Romeo and Paris paid for her impulsivity and the deaths of those were indirectly related to those of others such as Lady Montague, Mercutio and Tybalt. Tybalt is a character from the Capulet family who, like Romeo and Juliet, allows emotions to dominate and overpower his judgements which result in impulsive actions with fatal consequences. However, unlike Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt has trouble controlling his anger. His easily perturbed temper leads to his desires of resorting to violence. Although a different emotion than lust, anger is an unwanted emotion regardless, failing to repress which has inevitable consequences.
Tybalt’s impulsivity is first hinted upon when he says, “It fits when such a villian is a guest. I’ll not endure him. ” (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 75). Tybalt is completely enraged by Romeo’s presence at the Capulet ball to the point at which he wishes to duel him. With anger clouding his judgements, he doesn’t consider the Prince’s warning the following morning. Had he not been told to quite down, he would have confronted Romeo, perturbing the peace. His impulsivity and inability to control his emotions when aggravated is his biggest strength while being his biggest weakness as well.
This quotation is significant, because of its adequate approach to character development. Furthermore, this quote helps the reader infer the message of the play itself: impulsivity is more or less masochistic and inability to repress emotions to a reasonable level can be fatal. Secondly, another impulsive decision taken by Tybalt occurs in Scene 1 when he says, “What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward! ” (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 65) In this quotation, Tybalt exclaims openly about his hatred for Montagues.
His anger speaks for him, attracting trouble with those hateful words. His inability to control himself attracts the prince, getting them all in trouble. In a way, this incident is the guarantee of his near death. If Romeo hadn’t killed him for killing Mercutio later on, the Prince would have had him executed, because of the warning he gives after Tybalt disrupts the peace by starting a brawl. Lastly, Tybalt’s impulsivity gets himself killed, becoming further evidence to how impulsivity gets you in trouble. Tybalt says, “Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries.
That thou hast don’t me, therefore turn and draw” (3:1:63, 64). Tybalt taunts Romeo, hoping to initiate a duel for his anger to be drained. He seeks duels, never wanting to consider talking about the issues. It is due to this, that he finds himself murdered. Had he chosen to consider alternatives with a calm mind, he would have saved his own life and that of Mercutio. Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
It is a necessary skill, which becomes more troublesome the longer one chooses to not master it. In conclusion, strong emotions, desires and urges come to everyone. Learning to be able to adequately control them to a safe degree is a necessity. Romeo, Juliet and Tybalt all act impulsively because they are unable to repress their emotions. Romeo’s lust for Juliet causes him to act recklessly, risking his life for a woman he barely knows. Since he allowed himself to become infatuated with Juliet, he found himself very lonely at her apparent death.
He saw no other option other than that to kill himself. His impulsivity was fatal as he was too foolish to repress his emotions. Juliet, being as foolish as Romeo returned his love. Lustfully, she also allowed herself to get attached too quickly. She foolishly accepted Romeo’s proposal, risking her family’s name and honour for a boy as unprepared and unsuitable for a mate in a realistic world as a newborn. Had she been smart and not returned Romeo’s love like Rosaline, her life would have been saved. Lastly, Tybalt also made several foolish decisions.
Despite of his anger proving harmful, he never practiced the advice he was preached: to not disrupt peace amongst the public. Making several impulsive decisions like starting a brawl in the street for something that could have been easily apologized for and killing Mercutio, Tybalt ensures his final destination. If all three characters were more mature and weighed their options before making any decision, they each would be alive at the end of the play. However, that would have made a boring play, wouldn’t it have?