Romeo and Juliet
1. Our differences certainly define us. Each person has different personalities, beliefs and backgrounds that make them unique from the next person. The first difference that defines us is our personalities. Some types of personalities are shy, outgoing, friendly, attentive, extroverted, creative, serious, funny, leader, follower, among many other. If a person is an introvert, they tend to keep more to themselves and not be too talkative while in contrast extroverts love to talk about themselves and to other people. Culture and background is another thing that defines us. Depending on where we come form or our culture, there are unique ways of living such as the food we eat, the way we dress and communicate that set us apart from each other, essentially defining who we are. The third thing that defines who we are is our beliefs. These include moral and religious beliefs. Our beliefs guide how we relate with other people and the way we live our lives, therefore our beliefs undoubtedly define who we are as a person.
In the play Romeo and Juliet, the two characters who are very different but refuse to be defined by their differences. They come from two different families that happen to be enemies with each other. Romeo belongs to the Montague family while Juliet belongs to the Capulet family. Because of this, their love is forbidden from the start but they do not allow that to stand in their way. Juliet exclaims, “What’s Montague? It is nor hand nor foot, Nor arm nor face nor any other part Belonging to a man. Oh, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.” (II.ii). Juliet is also a perceptive young woman who had a feeling that Romeo would die when she says, “O God, I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low, As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.” (III.v.)
When the lay first begins, Romeo is an immature young man while Juliet is a mature young lady. Romeo does nothing but dwell on his love for Rosaline all day long which is rather silly for a grown person. He says, “Oh, my. Time drags when you’re sad…Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast…What else is [love]? A wise madness…A deadly poison…In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.” (I.i)They are not defined by this difference in their personalities are Romeo becomes more mature from his interaction with Juliet. Romeo believes in fantasy and sees their love as freedom. Juliet asks him how he found her room and he replies, “With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls, For stony limits cannot hold love out.” (II.ii.)
The Nurse is quite different from Juliet and Lady Capulet but this does not deter them from getting along. The Nurse is more of a surrogate mother to Juliet because she, the Nurse, lost her daughter who would have been about Juliet’s age. They develop a close friendship and the Nurse often encourages Juliet to find happiness. “Go girl; seek happy nights to happy days” (I.iii.107). Nurse enjoys being humorous and this sets her apart from Lady Capulet but they get along fairly well. : Nurse tells Lady Capulet, “Now, by my maidenhead at twelve year old, / I bade [Juliet] come” (I.iii.2–3). It would have sufficed her to say I summoned Juliet but she adds flair to her statements.
Mercutio is defined by his humor and cynicism. He makes fun of Romeo’s love for Juliet, showing that he does not believe in love as Romeo does. He remarks, “Appear thou in likeness of a sigh, Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied, Cry but “Ay me,” pronounce but “love” and “dove.” (II.i.). Mercutio sees their love to be immature. He is also disdainful of dreams and fantasies, dismisses them in saying, “True, I talk of dreams, Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.” (I.iv.)
Tybalt is an angry person, quick to draw his sword at the slightest provocation instead of listening to reason. He is Juliet’s cousin and believes that Montagues are their enemies simply because of their names. He tells Lord Capulet, Juliet’s father, “Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe, A villain that is hither come in spite To scorn at our solemnity this night.(I.v.69-71). He hates the fact that his cousin married a Montague and dared Romeo to a fight. Tybalt says,” Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries That thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.” (III.i.65)Romeo refuses to be baited, and Tybalt ends up accusing Romeo of being weak.
3. Juliet is one of the significant characters in the play. She is a young lady whose parents want her to marry Paris whom she does not love. I would have approached her situation in a similar manner as she did. She chose Romeo over Paris although her parents objected to her choice. Despite the cat that she was very young, she was able to think in the clear headed manner about the man she would marry. She chose to run away from her life and privilege to be reunited with Romeo. Romeo killed her cousin Tybalt and for this. Juliet belonged to an aristocratic family, and she was not free to get out of the house and mingle with other girls of her age.
In the modern day, there may still be aristocratic families that desire their children to marry specific people. This is, however, a very rare scenario. With many of today’s young people having firm opinions and options available to them, it is difficult to imagine a situation such as Juliet’s. Juliet would never be forced to marry a man against her wish. She would have the choice to run away and live her own life. She would not be defined by her aristocracy or her age but by her determination and her passion.