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Teenage Irresponsibility In Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet Essay

In modern times, teenagers are often seen as irrational and irresponsible. Some would argue that this is because the brain is not yet fully developed or because of emotional challenges. Whatever the cause, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, teenage irresponsibility and irrational thinking is put at extreme, which ultimately causes the death of the star-crossed lovers. The friar is often blamed for the couple’s death because it is though that he falsely led the couple down a path that was far more dangerous than needed.

However, this argument is flawed because even though the friar does indeed give the couple advice as what to do about their situation, he is not their guardian and it is ultimately Romeo who is accountable for his actions. Romeo often dismisses the warnings the friar gives him. A considerable example of this is his quickness to marry Juliet despite the friar saying it was not wise. This is not an unusual action for Romeo as he often does things without thinking with these actions causing mayhem.

Romeo’s overall impulsiveness and haste ultimately cause the untimely death of the couple with such qualities being shown through his infatuation, immaturity and his quickness to marry Juliet. Romeo often exemplifies the stereotypical teenager, he rarely listens to those around him and often dismisses warnings, and as a consequence, he causes harm to himself and others. Soon after meeting Juliet, Romeo decides he will marry her. However, the friar advises against it, “Wisely and slow.

They stumble that run fast” (II. iii. 101) and urges Romeo to slow down. In this warning, he is clearly advising against the marriage and creates a metaphor to further emphasize the degree of Romeo’s recklessness. Romeo further displays his rashness by going so far as to say: “… love-devouring death do what he dare,/ It is enough I may but call her mine”(II. vi. 7-8) which expresses his immaturity because he is only caring about the future of himself and Juliet, and not how his actions will affect others.

He dismisses the friar’s warning all together and he dares death to come into play. This illustrates the point that it was Romeo who put the couple in danger. This ignoring of the friar’s warning displays how he coaxes fate and does not care about the consequences to his actions so long as he has Juliet. As shown in this quote, Romeo often puts the couple in situations that are dire and dismisses any help given to him by others. The strongest example is the marriage between the couple, in which Romeo’s haste and impulsiveness is clearly displayed.

Despite the difficult decisions Romeo makes it often becomes clear that Romeo is not suited to make these decisions as he is frequently childish and immature. Mercucio, while trying to convince Romeo to move on from Rosaline, says, “Take some new infection to thy eyel and the rank poison of the old will die” (1. ii. 51-52). Although Mercucio is trying to sympathize with Romeo, his tone makes it clear that he is tired of Romeo’s complaints.

Although it is Romeo’s responsibility to get over Rosaline, he puts this responsibility on his friend, which further elaborates his childlike irresponsibility. Later he comes upon Juliet fretting about their family feud and tries to comfort her”… Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized” (I1. ii. 54). This quickness to abandon his name and family for a love that is so new is a prime example of his childishness. He is willing to throw away his family and his life for a woman he barely knows without thinking about the consequences.

Romeo’s childishness often causes him to not take responsibility for his actions, to act impulsively, and to make unwise decisions. His childishness ultimately causes the couple’s death. Soon after seeing Juliet for the first time, Romeo says, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight, / for ne’er saw true beauty till this night. “(1. v. 59-60) immediately dismissing any feelings he had for Rosaline, despite the grief he spent on her behalf. His potential feelings for Juliet are only encouraged by her availability and Rosaline’s lack thereof.

His quickness to abandon his feelings for Rosaline is peculiar and displays his impulsive nature as he jumps at any opportunity for love. After first meeting Juliet he goes to see her, and overhears Mercucio teasing him about Rosaline. Romeo remarks, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound” (11. ii. 47). This is heavily ironic and supports the idea that Romeos love is purely infatuation. Earlier he was distraught about Rosaline and now he dismisses this as nothing because of his pseudo-love of Juliet.

Romeo’s infatuation and haste go hand in hand because his infatuation is simply his haste displayed through his love. Romeo’s overall impulsiveness and haste ultimately cause the deaths of the lovers. This is because Romeo ignores the warnings the friar gives him and denies any reasonable consequence because of the infatuation he feels for Juliet. The friar is not to blame for their deaths, because Romeo ultimately dismisses the warnings the friar gives and makes rash and immature decisions without being ultimately affected by the friar’s opinion.

Despite the friar’s opinion, it is ultimately Romeo who makes the decisions and carries out the actions. Romeo is a perfect example of how the stereotypical characteristics of teenagers are echoed throughout the ages and that the characteristics shown during these teenage years can be harmful to those around them and themselves. The characteristics that people have throughout their teenage years, such as impulsive nature and haste, lead to arguments and problems that could be easily resolved otherwise

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