Immaturity in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet


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            Romeo and Juliet is a timeless tale of lovers who's misfortune and immaturity was a cause of their own destruction. The characters individually show immaturity and together demonstrate how ignorance of the world effects more than just their own lives. Romeo and Juliet, as expressed in the succeeding examples, fall in love quickly as a result of their naivety.

            Juliet is shown to be immature in a opening scene where her father tells the bride-seeking Paris his daughter is not old and grown-up enough to marry. "My child is yet a stranger in the world, she hath not seen the charge of fourteen years. . ." (Lines 8-9, Scene 2, Act 1). It is also shown during the balcony scene when she agrees to marry Romeo after knowing him only a day and she is not even sure herself that Romeo wants to marry her. "If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow. . . And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay, and follow thee my lord throughout the world" (Lines 142-143, 146-147, Scene 2, Act 2). After he marriage she is told by her nurse she is to marry Paris. In a blind fury she runs to Friar Lawrence with a knife to her body, thinking that her only option was to dye or hear a plan presented by Friar Lawrence to get her out of a second marriage. "If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, do thou but call my resolution wise, and with this knife I'll help it presently. . .'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife shall play umpire. . ." (Lines 53-55, 63-64, Scene 1, Act 4).

            Romeo's inclination to fall in love easily was first shown in his love for Rosaline. It was illustrated perfectly when he first met Juliet. "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight. For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night". (Lines 50-51, Scene 5, Act 1) He say this but he seemed to have forgotten Rosaline like old news, even though he speaks of Juliet as he spoke of Rosaline only a few short hours before.  "One fairer than my love! The all-seeing sun ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun" (Lines 94-95, Scene 2, Act 1). Romeo immaturity was further shown by the way he handled Tybalt's slaying of Mercutio.

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He thought nothing of the consequences of killing Tybalt which made his life crash down around him also trapping the person her loves in his downfall.

            Romeo and Juliet's individual decisions to take their lives were results misunderstanding and assumption. Assuming Juliet was dead, Romeo thought that his only option was to take his life out of grief for Juliet. His impatience resulted in the death of Paris, himself and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet's naive minds, suicide was a fast answer to their problems. In Juliet's case she had other options which she willing choose to overlook.

            Romeo and Juliet's innocence show us that jumping into situations too fast can cause big problems. Their impatience caused them to fall in love too quickly and gave them the impression of being in love.


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