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Romeo Montague (Leonard Whiting) in 1968 Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo Montague is one of the main characters in William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

Role Edit

Beginning his appearances in Act 1 Scene 1, we see that he is deeply saddened over being love with a woman named Rosaline, but she doesn't reciprocate his feelings. Romeo is a very poetic character, and spends all his time in the beginning of the play being very upset over Rosaline . His father describes this about Romeo's behavior: "Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs.But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the farthest east begin to draw The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, Away from light steals home my heavy son, And private in his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, And makes himself an artificial night. Black and portentous must this humor prove Unless good counsel may the cause remove." (Act 1 Scene 1). Romeo feels this way constantly in the beginning, and even seriously drags his feet when it comes to attending the Capulet party with his friends. Before they enter the ball, Romeo basically foreshadows the events of the play by saying that something feels wrong, like some big event will alter the course of his life -- but he says that whoever directs his life can decide what happens. Benvolio and Mercutio , his cousin and close friend, convince him to sneak into the Capulet ball with them, and there, he meets Juliet. It was love at first sight, and they kiss multiple times. After the party, Romeo makes a break for it (to Benvolio and Mercutio's dismay), and climbs Juliet's orchard wall into her garden. He notices Juliet on the balcony, and they speak further there, deciding to get married come morning. Romeo begins to act like his old self again after he and Juliet are married, which Mercutio describes here: "Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? Now art thou sociable. Now art thou Romeo. Now art thou what thou art—by art as well as by nature, for this driveling love is like a great natural that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole." Clearly, there has been a big change in his behavior now that he is not groaning over love & is beginning to joke around with his friends again.The next day, Nurse tells Romeo not to lead Juliet down the wrong path, and then they get married. Leaving his beloved wife, Romeo goes back to his friends. There, Tybalt tries to pick a fight with Romeo, because he is always meddling in Capulet activites. Romeo refuses to fight him, so Mercutio takes his place. Romeo tries to break it up, but Mercutio gets stabbed by Tybalt underneath his arm, killing Mercutio. In rage and sadness, Romeo gets his revenge by killing Tybalt. Seeking justice, the Capulet family wants Romeo killed, but the Prince doesn't think that will amount to anything other than more dead bodies, so Romeo is banished to Mantua, never to return to Verona. Romeo is very upset over this, because he will never see Juliet again. Romeo and Juliet spend a night together, promising to meet again. Friar Lawrence and Juliet conjure up a plan to fake her own suicide and then have Romeo come and pick her up and take her to Mantua so that they can live out their days together, but something goes wrong and Romeo is not alerted of this plan. Balthasar explains Juliet's "death" to Romeo, and Romeo (who was in deep sadness and was going mad), buys poison from an apothecary, and kills Count Paris (one of Juliet's suitors who was outside her tomb at the time). After this, Romeo knows there is no going back, because he has now murdered two people and his greatest love is dead as well. Romeo drinks the vial of poison, killing himself.

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Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) lying dead in their tomb in 1996 "Romeo + Juliet".

Throughout the play, Romeo's behavior begins it's steady descent downwards, he and Juliet's marriage being about the climax of his happiness. Romeo is devastated upon hearing of Juliet's death, and even unnecessarily kills Paris to get to her. Romeo is definitely the type of person to throw it all away for the person he loves, which can both be seen in his unrequited love affair with Rosaline (as all of his emotions had become enveloped in the fact she didn't love him & he felt like he could never, ever be happy again) and Juliet (because because of her, he felt the need to kill himself to stay with her forever, throwing away all chances of redemption in his life). Romeo is a rather endearing character because of this, but it also labels him as foolish or childish.

Trivia Edit

Even though Juliet starts crying over Romeo's banishment, there in Act 3 Scene 3, Romeo starts crying about his own banishment

Quotes Edit

"Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he's some other where." - (1,1)

"Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead." - (1,4)

"Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn." - (1,4)

"I fear, too early: for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars..." - (1,4)

"O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" - (1,5)

"He jests at scars that never felt a wound." - (2,2)

"With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out,..." - (2,2)

"O, I am fortune's fool!" - (3,1)

"Ha, banishment! be merciful, say 'death;' For exile hath more terror in his look,..." - (3,3)

"'Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here, Where Juliet lives;..." - (3,3)

"Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!" - (5,1)

"O my love, my wife! Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty." - (5,3)

"O true apothecary, Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die." - (5,3) (His last words.)

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