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Modern Psychological Analysis Applied to Shakespeare’s Romeo

A healthy individual is one who behaves in ways that promote emotional well-being, resolves conflicts constructively, adapts to different situations and has self-discipline. Romeo lacks these qualities in the beginning. However, as he matures throughout the play, we see how the once irrational and impulsive boy has progressed into a deeper and more thoughtful man. Romeo matures in the play from an irrational boy to a thoughtful and deep man. His love for Juliet has transformed him from a boy who talks in clich¨¦s, to a man with a powerful command of speech. Unfortunately, we never do see him become a truly healthy individual.

When the reader meets Romeo, he is presented as an emotionally shattered person. He’s in love with love. He has chosen a girl who’ll never return his affection, and he spends much of his days pitying himself. Of Rosaline, he says, “She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair / to merit bliss by making me despair” (I.i.230). He takes his time in being depressed and is almost as if he enjoys his misery. His moaning leaves him unable to act. Instead, he spends time wandering through trees or locked up in his room. This is supposedly unlike himself for he exclaims, ¡°Tut! I have lost myself, I am not here; this is not Romeo, he’s some other where¡± (I.i.204). Here we see his irrationality which helps lead to his tragic death. Then he meets Juliet and discovers his true self. Almost immediately, his entire speech and tone changes and he is no longer grieving. Their love is so intense that Romeo’s speech is transformed into poetry. The first time they talk together, their conversation effortlessly forms a sonnet. His emotions change quickly and are fickle.

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Romeo is not one who tries to start fights and will attempt to resolve his few conflicts peacefully. Romeo is shown generally as a well-liked person. Mercutio and Benvolio both want his attention; the Nurse thinks he’s honest, courteous, kind, and handsome. His mother loves him so much that she dies of grief when he’s banished, and even Lord Capulet calls him “a virtuous and well-governed youth” and refuses to let Tybalt bother him. Friar Lawrence loves Romeo so much that he’ll do almost anything to secure his happiness. The exception, of course, is Tybalt. Romeo himself tells Tybalt, “Villain I am none… see thou knowest me not” (III.i.65). When a quarrel starts between Mercutio and Tybalt, he answers kindly in hopes to end the fight saying, ¡°good Capulet, which name I tender As dearly as mine own¡± (III.i.71), only to have his words thought to be sarcastic. His trouble comes when he gives in to “fire-eyed fury” after Mercutio is killed. He avenges his friend’s death with more violence and gets himself banished. His efforts to resolve the conflict constructively failed and chose to kill Tybalt. This similar conflict occurs when he is confronted by Paris. Yet, he is a gentleman to the end; he grants his rival’s request to be buried with Juliet.

Romeo has the blessing and curse of an impulsive personality. Rarely does he think things through although he can adjust quickly to new situations? He feels things deeply and is very passionate and emotional. At the beginning of the play, he is despairing over his unrequited love for Rosaline. Yet, as soon as he meets Juliet, his lust over Rosaline is gone and he is able to give himself completely to his love for Juliet. He adjusts quickly to the ups and downs of the play. His newfound love for Juliet powers him through his wedding and allows him to fight Tybalt. He showed a lack of self-discipline when he was provoked into the quarrel after Mercutio was killed under his arm. He soon realizes the serious consequences of killing Tybalt and by the time Romeo gets to Friar Lawrence’s cell, he has lost himself, his maturity, and his ability to act. He thinks he has also lost Juliet by killing her cousin he further explains how ¡°every unworthy thing¡­may look on her, but Romeo may not¡± (III.iii.34). He’s beyond comfort and is much the way he was at the beginning of the play. Then when he hears that Juliet still loves him and wants him to come to her that night, he pulls himself together and climbs out of his pit of despair. After his wedding night, he is more mature and more than before. We see that he’s accepted his banishment and is willing to act on it; his words of love to Juliet as he leaves are breathtakingly beautiful. He’s become a man of action, and he doesn’t hesitate to act for the rest of the play.

Romeo has grown throughout the play. He is a very emotional person and acts often on instinct rather than logic. He unsuccessfully tries to make peace among his peers. Romeo’s emotions bob up and down like a cork in water as the play progresses. We see him eventually become a much more thoughtful and deep man. I have learned a lot about how irrationality and poor choices can ruin someone. I’ve seen from Romeo and Juliet how important it is to be a healthy individual. It is important to be emotionally and socially healthy. I need to practice these qualities before it is too late. It’s a sad irony that Romeo is most himself in the tomb. It’s tragic that when his love is deepest, there will be no use for it. He is only seconds away from the awakening of his bride. When his speech is most honest, he will soon be silenced. He has found himself, only to kill himself. In his death, we watch the world lose a nobleman.

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Modern Psychological Analysis Applied to Shakespeare's Romeo. (2021, Mar 04). Retrieved July 8, 2021, from