On William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Truly, the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet stemmed from the conflict between the houses of Capulet and Montague. Nevertheless, Romeo is the one responsible for the tragic events that led to sad deaths.

Romeo, a Montague, went uninvited to the Capulets’ party. That itself was a big mistake. Of course, his Rosaline would be there but it would be quite hard simply trying to stay unrecognized, with Tybalt around. Plus, he fell madly in love with Juliet, another big mistake. Could he not wait until he found out who she was before falling madly in love with her? Romeo should have avoided the party in the first place. If he did, then he wouldn’t die so soon.

Romeo is fickle. His strong, capricious emotions and quick decisions led to terrible events. For instance, Romeo’s raging passion for Juliet made him almost immediately get married. Had he carefully considered the situation he and his sweetheart were in, then both their burdens would be lighter on their backs. They might have been able to sort out the conflict between their families, arrange to run away from Verona, or some other plan. Romeo’s sudden love for Juliet caused everything to be frantic and rushed, even his thinking. He gradually became suicidal as soon as he realized that he would be both Capulet and Montague at once--a result of his marriage.

Henceforth, this role confusion had further effect on his actions later on in the play. Romeo’s attempt to make peace with both sides and be neutral put him in a rather confusing spot since he was inclined to take a side. While struggling to separate Mercutio and Tybalt, he was a neutral person. However, he was playing Montague as he killed Tybalt. Romeo felt guilty later, realizing that he killed his kinsman. If he stayed in his neutral position, then Mercutio and Tybalt may still be alive. Then Romeo would not have been banished.

Romeo was the influence over spoiled Juliet, since soon after they met at the party she became as dazed as he was. She gradually became suicidal, like him, when Romeo was exiled. So many things could have been done to avoid this : she could have not married Romeo, for one, or she could have chosen to elope with him to Mantua. Running away would have been so simple and would save so many lives.

Romeo is irresponsible. He crashed into a party. Plus, when he found that Juliet was a Capulet, he could have left her alone. He still sneaked into the Capulet orchard and met Juliet at the balcony. He couldn’t support a wife, and yet he got one. He didn’t want to have any trouble, but he decided to break up the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt. Romeo really should have left them alone so that each could properly defend himself. Whatever the final result of the fight was, it wouldn’t have been his fault and he would not be exiled.

Romeo is stupid. Upon hearing Balthasar’s news about Juliet, he raced back to Verona and broke into the tomb immediately. Why didn’t he see Friar Laurence before going to the graveyard? Since the friar was his advisor, he should seek advice from before doing something drastic like breaking into the tomb. A friar who married him and Juliet should know more about the situation than a servant.

Romeo is temperamental. Immediately after Mercutio died, he slew Tybalt. Then, he thought about his actions and situation. In like manner, one misunderstanding or two from Paris made Romeo kill him. If he was baffled, he should have clarified the situation with Paris before running him through.

Romeo of the house of Montague never thought before he made a crucial decision (as an illustration, drinking the poison--if he mourned a bit longer he would still be alive). And his foolish decisions led him to his doom--and hers.

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Copyright (c) 1998 by Gemma Truman
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From what little I have saved from my pile of English 9 work is this essay, originally the third and final part of our test on the Bard's tragedy. It's one of the very first essays I've written that was required to include a thesis statement. Although it was something fairly new and challenging, I survived and eventually adopted the idea. But it didn't stop me from expressing my feelings about the seemingly idiotic couple.