Romeo And Juliet: Infatuation Or Love?
The play Romeo and Juliet has been considered to be the most touching love story of all time, but when you look closer and past all the initial “fantasies”, you see the truth. Romeo and Juliet believed that they were in love because of the mere idea of it, however based on their actions and the short amount of time that the stages of their “love” progressed in, it soon became clear that what they were actually feeling was infatuation.
Romeo, you see, may have possibly convinced himself that he loved Juliet. We all know that our friends do influence our decisions, and Benvolio’s constant nagging about finding a new love may have taken its toll on Romeo.
“Be ruled of me, forget to think of her.” (Act 1, Scene 1. Pg. 25.)
“Go thither; and, with unattained eye,
Compare her face with some I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.” (Act 1, Scene 2. Pg. 35.)
Not only the day before, had Romeo been in love with another girl, Rosaline. We can clearly see this when Romeo says:
“Out of her favour, where I am in love.” (Act 1, Scene 1. Pg. 21.)
“In sadness, cousin. I do love a woman.” (Act 1, Scene 1. Pg. 23.)
However, when Romeo attends a ball for simply the fact that Rosaline would have been there, he sees Juliet and instantly ‘falls in love’. Sure, we have all heard of the popular saying “It was love at first sight”, but how much of us really believe it? For how many of us does this actually apply to? Chances of ‘love at first sight’ is zero to none. And Romeo and Juliet’s case was no different than this. Romeo distinctly says,
“Did my heart love til now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty til this night.” (Act 1, Scene 5. Pg. 65.)
This is the beginning of their physical love. Throughout the whole play, the only thing they ever truly know of each other is their physical appearances. Throughout the whole four days, this is all they know. They lust for each other sexually, but there is no proof of them having any real friendship. It could be argued that their real desire was, actually, for each other’s bodies. We notice this during the balcony scene.
Juliet: “And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.”
Romeo: “I take thee at thy word.” (Act 2, Scene 2. Pg. 89.)
Romeo had been in love with a beautiful woman, – let’s not forget he was in love with her until the point when he saw Juliet – so it only seems natural that another beautiful girl could break his lovesick spell over Rosaline.
On the other hand, Juliet was nothing but a thirteen year old girl who was clueless about love. We understand how young and naïve Juliet is when the Nurse begins to reminisce about when she nursed Juliet. The Nurse lets us see the childish side of Juliet – she makes it seem as though it was only days ago that she was nothing but a small baby....
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Romeo and Juliet Essay – Misconceptions Between Love and LustGet Your
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Thursday, March 27th, 2013 Misconceptions between Love and Lust in Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet The act of falling in love was an experience and privilege that was rare to come by in the society Romeo and Juliet live in. The blessing of marriage was used as an enhancement on one’s social status unlike how our society uses it to celebrate love. As the audience is exposed to more and more of the plot and events that happen in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, one realizes that love is never formally described or exposed in the play, it is more a shallow feeling that is hiding behind its truth which is infatuation.
Romeo has himself, along with the audience for a short period of time believing that he is in love with Rosaline. However, at the very sight of Juliet, he instantly claims to be in love and leaves the audience wondering how he forgot about Rosaline, a woman he supposedly loved so quickly. This leads the audience to consider that Romeo did not feel true love for Rosaline, therefore questioning the thought of this complete, passionate love he feels for Juliet, and further leading the audience to believe that Romeo and Juliet may not even Ferri 2 e considered a love story, but a tragedy due to the misinterpretation between love and lust with many elements of infatuation in between. The play starts off with Romeo claiming to be in a state of complete love with Rosaline. However, as he starts to explain the complications of this love with his cousin Benvolio, it becomes clear that Rosaline does not feel the same way about Romeo, as she does not even know who he is. This lets the audience know that what Romeo is feeling is infatuation and lust, not anything as deep and intense as love should be labeled as.
His feelings for Rosaline have been strictly created and grown off the sight of her, but have not developed in any other form, except that he thinks of her as a beautiful woman who has allegedly stolen his heart. As Benvolio listens to Romeo explain his obsession with Rosaline, Benvolio asks Romeo why he has chosen to love Rosaline. To which Romeo replies“Well, in that hit you miss: she’ll not be hit, with Cupid’s arrow; she hath Dian’s wit, And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d, from love’s weak childish bow she lives unharm’d. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet,I,I,215-223). Romeo describes how Rosaline has not been “hit with cupids bow” meaning that she has yet to fall in love with him, nor will she ever. Also this verse gives the audience proof that Romeo is in love with just her looks, and the lack of her personality traits being described only confirms the argument that Romeo is only infatuated with Rosaline. However, the infatuation with Rosaline seems to give Romeo a new perspective on what he should feel when he loves someone, letting him believe that when he meets Juliet, it was true love.
Ferri 3 In the play, Romeo is not the only one who is thought to be in this state of infatuation. Just like himself, Paris the man who is betrothed to Juliet, believes he has some sort of a loving feeling towards Juliet. The audience can in a way, make the interpretation that love may not even be a valid theme in the play and the idea of falling or being overcome by love by only the sight of one another, does not match, nor come close to the true meaning of deep, compassionate love.
A possibility that love is becoming real is when Romeo and Juliet have their second encounter in the Capulet’s courtyard, after the party where they both first fell into the trance of lust with one another. It is here that Romeo and Juliet begin this love story that captivates the reader into considering that both lovers are growing the rarely heard of love for each other. As the conversation between the two develops, marriage has already been announced and the feeling of love has been expressed “R: O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
J: What satisfaction canst thou have tonight? R: The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine. J: I gave thee mine before thou didst request it; and yet i would it were to give again. ” (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, II, II, 133-136) The audience, at this moment, is caught in the daze of how much depth and emotion these two claim to feel about one another that it is disregarded how the two only met hours before.
As both characters seem to feel love and adoration between each other, attention on Romeos abrupt love and obsession with Rosaline poses the subject of Romeos possible lack Ferri 4 of true love towards Juliet. Also Juliet is described to be not yet fourteen “My child is a stranger in the world, she hath not seen the change of fourteen years” (Shakespeare, I, II, 8-9). By her father simply stating that Juliet is a stranger in the world he is telling Paris, she is not yet ready for love or marriage as she does not and could not understand the meaning behind the two. he is just entering into her teenage years and most, if not all teenagers in her and our society do not know, understand, or even experience the committed, powerful feeling that love for a significant other is. Although both end up committing suicide because the thought of not having the other in their lives was unthinkable, irrationality was taken by both characters, as by simply being in the right place at the wrong time caused this story of bringing two loathing families together by a mutual love, into becoming a tragedy as these two lovers would take their lives to stay in eternity with the other.
The debate on whether or not Shakespeare created a love story between two “star cross’d lovers” whose fate lead them down a path of destruction continues as generations come across the play. Interpretations are all different as are each and every perspective on the piece. Much evidence in the play itself shines a light on the illusion of both Romeo and Juliet being in this unbreakable, dying love. Nevertheless, by Shakespeare using this illusion, not many look into the dim, grey area of the trance of lust that is what may be the true feeling between the two lovers.
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Love is not a tangible thing; you can not hold or touch it. However it is a connection between two people that have learned from pain and trial to find the genuine act of love. One could argue Ferri 5 that Romeo and Juliet were never in love. That neither had the capacity to find sincere love, and by pondering this statement, stating that these two tragic lovers lives, were nothing in comparison to an authentic love story.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Romeo and Juliet Essay – Misconceptions Between Love and Lust
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