Romeo Montague

Widely regarded as the epitome of romance, Romeo Montague isoft portrayed and recognized solely by the amorous aspect of hisnature. Contrary to popular belief however, Romeo is not merely aquintessential embodiment of love— but instead a far more human andcomplex being. This becomes increasingly apparent upon anexamination of his behaviour in Act One of Romeo and Juliet as Romeo, the supposed encapsulation of romance, is revealed to be an emotionally effusive, eloquent individual in the midst of an existential crisis.
When Romeo first acquaints himself with the audience, hisactions betray his insecurity in regard to the purpose of his existence.Desperately attempting to acquire a sense of fulfilment in his life,Romeo finds resolve in love— or rather, unrequited love, as the objectof his affection, Rosaline, ‘lives uncharmed’ (1.1.205) from ‘Love’s weakchildish bow’ (1.1.205). Despite this, Romeo expresses— in a highlylinguistic manner— how this unrequited emotion brings him both joy and misery in a series of contradictory phrases: ‘Feather of lead,bright smoke, cold fire, sick health’. These contrasting emotions of hisare further exemplified by the paradox ‘a choking gall, and apreserving sweet’ (1.1.188) of which speaks in an attempt to describehis perception of love. It is thus evident that Romeo is a victim ofexistential insecurity and that his behavior upon introduction is simplya façade existing as a provisional solution.
His somewhat ostentatious desire to be in love is soon realized
upon his pivotal encounter with Juliet, whereupon he demonstrates hisextensive capacity for emotion. The dialogue our star crossedprotagonists first engage in assumes the form of a sonnet; and in amere fourteen lines (1.5.92-105) the two fall in love and weave a metaphoric image of a pilgrimage in which Romeo’s lips are depictedas ‘two blushing pilgrims’ (1.5.94) and Juliet’s hand as the ‘holy shrine’(1.5.93) they must venture to. Although the two have only...