Romeo Character Analysis Essay



Imagine your families enemy hosting a party that you attend, meeting a boy whose actions later result in the death of 2 of your loved ones and many others. Romeo was the primary influence and cause of many of the tragic deaths. His secretive marriage, his murderous tendencies, and his irrational decisions were all events that lead to forming his characteristics. Although Romeo and Juliet were star-crossed lovers, Romeo is most responsible for the deaths in “Romeo and Juliet” because he is reactive, irresponsible, and single-minded. 

Reactivity

Romeo is reactive which causes many of the deaths within this tragedy. Following the secret marriage of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt participate in a fight in the streets of Verona. This results in Mercutio being killed by Tybalt. This event enrages Romeo, and he then fights and kills Tybalt. Standing in the street moments after Mercutio was taken away Romeo states, “Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain? Away to heaven respective lenity, and fire-ey’d fury be my conduct now!” (III.I.123.). Romeo became enraged and in result, he made a reactive decision to kill Tybalt.

While making this decision, Romeo neglected to consider the consequences or the fact that Tybalt is his wife's cousin without examining the consequences or taking into account Tybalt is Juliet’s, his loves, cousin. Romeo ignores the hardship this event will cause his family and consequently, Romeo’s mother then dies of a broken heart. Juliet and Friar Lawrence devised up a plan for Juliet to take a toxin that will slow her heart and make her appear to be dead for 3 days. This plan is meant to provide Juliet the opportunity to run away with Romeo without her family knowing. However, Romeo is unaware of the plan and in turn believes Juliet is dead when he arrives. Romeo then quickly decides to take his life.

Standing next to Juliet's limp body, Romeo believes she’s dead and states, “Come, bitter conduct: come, unsavory guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on the dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark! Here’s to my love!” (V.III.116.). Romeo saw his love dead and again without considering the consequences of his actions decided to take his life. Romeo disregards the hardship this event will cause and in turn when Juliet awoke from her long sleep she took her life. If Romeo had thought through his actions and had thought-through the consequences Tybalt would not have been killed, he and Juliet would have run away together and his mother would not have died. However, Romeo made reactive decisions based on his emotions rather than his mind. 

Irresponsibility

Romeo is Irresponsible which results in events that took part in many of the deaths in this tragedy. At the beginning of the play, Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio are all standing on a street in Verona late at night. Mercutio is persuading Romeo to attend a party with him. Romeo was aware the party was at his family enemies’ estate, however, Romeo stated, “He, that hath the steerage of my course, Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen” (I.IV.119). Romeo did not take responsibility for his life and ability to make decisions while deciding to attend the Capulet's, his families known feuding enemies, party which then results with Tybalt earning to kill Romeo.

This then causes Tybalt challenging Romeo to a duel later in the play, This duel leads to the death of Mercutio resulting in Romeo making the reactive decision to kill Tybalt. Following Romeo and Juliet's secret marriage ceremony, Tybalt and Mercutio take part in a fight which leads to Tybalt killing Mercutio. Romeo then became enraged and killed Tybalt with no thoughts of the consequences or hardships his death would cause. Following this, Romeo flees the scene and runs away from what he did. Following the murder of Tybalt Romeo states, ”O, I am fortune’s fool!” (III.I.138.).

Romeo runs away from his murder therefore, not taking responsibility for his actions, This action and responsibility then lead to Romeo’s banishment. His banishment drives Juliet to wish to run away with Romeo. This is when Juliet and Friar Laurence devise the plan for Juliet to take the toxin which leads to the death of Juliet, Romeo, and Paris. If Romeo had taken responsibility for his actions and life, he would not have attended the Capulet’s party therefore not meeting Juliet and enraging Tybalt, preventing numerous deaths within this tragedy.

Single-mindedness

Romeo is Single-minded which lead to numerous deaths within this tragedy. Following Romeo's secret marriage ceremony, on the streets of Verona, Tybalt challenges him to a duel. Tybalt then kills Mercutio which results in Romeo reactively killing Tybalt with no regard of how this would make Juliet or her family feel. Moments before murdering Tybalt Romeo states, “Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain? Away to heaven respective lenity, and fire-ey’d fury be my conduct now!” (III.I.123.). Romeo neglecting Juliets’ feeling results in the banishment of him which in turn, results in the deaths of Tybalt, Juliet, Romeo, and Paris. Some may argue Romeo was just a heartbroken teen who didn’t understand the impact his actions would cause. However, even at 14 years old teens understand the difference between right and wrong and understand actions have consequences. 

Although Romeo and Juliet were star-crossed lovers, Romeo is most responsible for the many deaths in “Romeo and Juliet” because he is reactive, irresponsible, and single-minded. Due to Romeo reacting in suicide, not taking responsibility for his life, and Single-minded decision to kill Tybalt the numerous deaths in this tragedy where a result of Romeo and his actions.