The Impulsivity In Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet

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In his play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare sets quite a high standard for romance and tragic novels after his time. The two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, have a secret, forbidden affair due to the fact that their families are long-time rivals. They seek Friar Lawrence to marry them. Shortly after their marriage, a brawl erupts between Romeo, Mercutio, and Tybalt with the final result of Mercutio being slain by Tybalt, who is then slain by Romeo. As a punishment, the Prince then publicly announces Romeo’s banishment. Lord Capulet forces Juliet to marry Paris. Upset by this undesirable situation, Juliet seeks Friar Lawrence's help once more and is given a sleeping potion that imitates death, which causes everyone…show more content…
Throughout the whole play, it is evident that he almost “never examines the consequence of his actions” (Dickey 470) as his impulsivity assumes total control. By being so reckless and hasty, Romeo leads himself and his love straight to the tomb. After Mercutio’s death, “Romeo casts aside all reason and begins a chain of passionate action” (Dickey 470), consequently leading to his and his lover’s ultimate doom. The logical and reasonable action to take is to be patient and let the law punish Tybalt for his felony; however, Romeo acts with haste and charges at Tybalt instead. Not only does Romeo manage to kill Tybalt, but he also turns the law against himself, as the Prince declares Romeo’s banishment. This banishment is just the beginning of the dominoes laid on the board by Shakespeare; it becomes the physical barrier that separates Romeo and Juliet from each other. In the last act, this barrier then separates their minds as neither of them are on the same page, which is the cause of their…show more content…
Throughout most of the play, Romeo portrays himself as “a man who approves of his emotions and revels in them” (Eckhoff 471). He allows himself to be vulnerable to emotions such as “headlong fury and blind despair” (Dickey 469) and lets these feelings take control of him. This rage is shown after the death of Mercutio, when Romeo allows his inner rage to build up and lets “fury be [his] conduct” (3.1.129). Since he does not know how to control and use his emotions, Romeo unleashes by dueling Tybalt and killing him. Despair is another emotion of which he lacks control of; Romeo states, "[i]n what vile part of this anatomy / [d]oth my name lodge? Tell me, that I may sack / [t]he hateful mansion" (3.3.115-117) at Friar Lawrence’s cell after the Prince declares banishment. Instead of taking an emotional break to relieve himself of tension, he turns to his dagger to commit suicide. Luckily, Friar Lawrence is there to discuss the consequences of suicide and guide Romeo through his negative emotional state. This is not the only instance where Romeo faces despair; in Act Five he also feels despair when Balthasar brings him the unfortunate news. Once again, Romeo goes to drastic measures to try to kill himself, succeeding in his attempt. Impatience is another factor in his intemperateness. In the last scene, Romeo rushes to Juliet’s tomb with
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