Character traits Romeo and Juliet Essay

Love, fate, loyalty and conflict. These words represent key themes in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet and are closely associated with its most interesting character, Romeo Montague.
Shakespeare’s memorable characters are created with the purpose of providing a breadth of knowledge into the key and complex concepts in life. Romeo is of this purposeful characterisation. And although he begins as an impulsive and immature man, he instantly becomes the most interesting character with the beginning of his startling transformation after he discovers true love. Another reason is because of his contribution to the intensity of the play through his extreme but passionate actions built on his true love for Juliet.
The beginning of this play presents Romeo as an obstinate and audacious teenager, experiencing unrequited love with Rosaline. This all changes though when he talks with Juliet for the first time in Act 1 Scene 5 through a significant shared-sonnet, causing Romeo’s dramatic transformation in character. In this part of the scene, Romeo has just narrowly escaped the wrath of Tybalt after he finds out Romeo gate-crashed the party. Then, Romeo speaks with Juliet for the first time and a passionate love sprouts between Romeo and Juliet which transforms Romeo. We see this illustrated in when Romeo says “Two blushing pilgrims, ready…To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss”. It then continues with Juliet responding with “Good pilgrim you wrong your hand too much” before Romeo says “O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do”. These quotes clearly show the use of religious metaphors by Romeo. This shows his profound change to a more elaborate style of language.

Another technique by Shakespeare is through how he structures this conversation as a sonnet, showcasing how their immediate love connects them and is unique and true in its form (unlike the infatuation with Rosaline). The sonnet is also used as a textual echo to connect it with the prologue which is also told in sonnet form. This additional technique brings in foreshadowing in how the prologue is strongly associated with fate especially through the words “death-marked love”. This foreshadows how their love will lead to their failed fight against fate.
Baz Luhrmann’s reinterpretation of this scene shows the setting transferred into a grand, American mansion, though Romeo and Juliet first see each other through a fish tank before entering the mansion’s great hall. The fishtank holds the motif of water, which is used to symbolise the purity of their love. More symbolism is intertwined with the reference to Romeo’s knight armour, demonstrating how Romeo is saving Juliet from a loveless life and loveless marriage with Paris. Comparing this to Juliet’s angel costume is also important in how it conveys the theme of fate through how Juliet is high in the heavens and out of his reach. Another technique is specific camera shots. This is shown in his slow cuts and close-ups while they lock-eyes with each other through the fish tank which conveys a romantic and.

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