William Shakespeare’s Play "Romeo And Juliet": True Love Or Infatuation

In William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare tells a story of two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, who come from opposing families that experience love at first glance and by the end, take their own lives because they are unable to be together. So let's research and analyze of the main theme of love in this play in the "Romeo And Juliet: True Love Or Infatuation Essay" paper.

Juliet is a Capulet, almost 14 and being prepared by her family to marry someone she does not wish to, County Paris. Romeo Montague is a young boy who falls in love easily and often. Within moments of meeting, the two lovebirds claim it is love at first sight and fall head over heels for each other; whereas in reality they are both mesmerized by each others’ physical appearance. The perfect way to describe Romeo and Juliet’s fling is infatuation. The definition of infatuation is someone who becomes extremely interested in someone or something in a short period of time. Juliet is trying to avoid marrying a man she has barely met and Romeo is trying to get over another girl who never returned his affection. Romeo and Juliet are not truly in love, but rather fascinated with each other’s physical attributes, are trying to escape a family feud, and their immaturity is overwhelming.

Romeo and Juliet start off their rocky relationship when they meet at a Capulet party, the way they describe each other is a giveaway at the lust they share when they only focus on the hands and lips of each other. Romeo exclaims, “my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand, to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss” (i. v .95-96). Juliet responds with “good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this, for saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss” (i. v. 97-100). The first thing Romeo and Juliet noticed about one another is each person's physical attributes, their hands and lips. Being heavily focused on one's physical body or looks when you first meet is a giveaway of lust, and when the first comments are made based on one's appearance, it suggests desire more than love. This is prevalent in today’s society, lust is made by idealization, you are blind to flaws and all. You see what you want to see and hope for them to be what you need and want. Romeo and Juliet rushed their relationship based off of immediate lust for one another. Throughout the play they talked briefly and the times they did were cut off. Hormones take over and lust soon leads to sexual attraction and to rash decisions, Romeo and Juliet no different. Romeo and Juliet never got to know each other, therefore, they are not in love. Rather deeply infatuated with each other.

Another reason Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is based on infatuation is Romeo is an overzealous lover and Juliet is young and inexperienced. Their short-lived spur of the moment love consisted of fleeting feelings. Romeo is a character who easily and often falls in and out of love, that still greatly applies to teenage boys to this day. This is shown during a conversation between Mercutio, a close friend of Romeo’s and relative to the royals, and Romeo, Mercutio exclaims “You are a lover. Borrow Cupid’s wings and soar with them above common bound.” (I. v. 17-18)

This is Mercutio way of saying that Romeo falls in love too easily as Mercutio has witnessed Romeo’s past love frenzy’s. Such as with Rosaline who he claims to love even though it was unrequited. It seems that Romeo struggles with self-control, how could this young love extravaganza be any different from his previous loves? With Juliet being as young as 13, it is hard to imagine being in love so young. Even Juliet’s father expresses to her potential husband, County Paris, just how young Juliet is. “My child is yet a stranger in this world. She hath not seen the change of fourteen years” (I.ii.8-9). Capulet is saying to Paris that Juliet is still young and has no experience with relationships, the outside world and has barely left the safety of the Capulet household. This quote means that even Capulet barely believes that Juliet is mature enough. She claims to be in love with Romeo but how can that be possible when she is only a child who has lived a sheltered life, has not had any romantic experiences? How could either of them know they are in love when neither of them has had a true relationship. Romeo nor Juliet know what love is.

The last reason Romeo and Juliet are not in love is because they are both searching for escapism. Juliet is attempting to avoid being wed to County Paris and Romeo is using Juliet as a way to get over Rosaline. Juliet shows her distaste in marrying Paris in this scene with her mother, Lady Capulet. “How stands your disposition to be married,” (i. iii. 67). Juliet sharply responds with “It is an honor I dream not of” (i. iii. 68) . It is clear that Juliet is opposed to her mother's’ wishes to marry County Paris. This plays a role in Juliet choosing to become interested in Romeo rather than Paris. By marrying Romeo, she is able to deflect her marriage to Paris. This is also part of the reason Juliet decided to drink the potion given to her by Friar Lawrence. After Romeo was exiled and the date was set for the marriage between Juliet and Paris, Juliet, already married to Romeo, drank the potion to put her to sleep. “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee!” (iv. iii. 59) Juliet drinks the potion in fear she may never see Romeo again and in hopes she will not have to marry Paris. They are using each other as a way to escape other love interests.

In Romeo’s case, he is still in love with Rosaline when he gets to the Capulet party. The only reason he went was that he saw Rosaline’s name on the guest list, this motivated him to sneak into the household. Romeo says he will “go along…to rejoice in splendor of my own” (i. Ii. 103) Even minutes before meeting Juliet he was stressing about how Rosaline doesn't love him back. Minutes after attending the party, his eyes fall upon Juliet and he states, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (i. v. 50-51). Romeo says he has never seen such beauty in his life, but what about Rosaline? Days before this he was saying the same about Rosaline, “O, she is rich in beauty, only poor that, when she dies, with beauty dies her store” (i. i. 224-25) Beauty dies when Rosaline dies. This makes it unclear as to who is the most beautiful of the two girls or which one Romeo loves. Romeo tells Friar Laurence that he loves Juliet because Juliet loves him back. Romeo is using Juliet as a way to forget about and escape Rosaline. This is also true with Romeo’s act of suicide, he killed himself because he was unable to be with Juliet, he also knew that Rosaline would never feel the same way, therefore he escaped the world.

In conclusion, Romeo and Juliet are not in love. They are infatuated with each other. At such a young age it is almost impossible to know what love is. Love is a concept very complicated and involves mutual respect from both parties, although Romeo and Juliet respected each other they lusted after each other more so. Their relationship consisted of physical attraction and escapism. Romeo and Juliet never got to know each other enough to fall in love with ones qualities, therefore, they were not in love.


07 September 2020
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