romeo and juliet Essay

Romeo – The son of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. At first sight, he falls in love with Juliet, the daughter of his family’s archenemy, Capulet. Though he is capable of the most intense love, Romeo is no mere pretty-boy: he proves himself to be a fine swordsman in the course of the play. He is kinsman with Benvolio and great friends with Mercutio and Friar Laurence.

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Juliet – The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a nave child who has thought little about love and marriage. She grows up quickly, though upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. Though she loves Romeo as profoundly as he loves her, Juliet nevertheless demonstrates a more level and sober head than does her paramour. Until a falling out near the end of the play, the Nurse is Juliet’s closest, and, it seems, only confidante and friend.

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Friar Laurence – A Franciscan monk, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Laurence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. Though a Catholic monk, Friar Laurence is also, oddly, an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.

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Mercutio – A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates those who are fashionable and polite for social acceptance. He finds Romeo’s romanticized ideas about love tiresome.

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