Were Romeo and Juliet Really in Love?

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Edmond Mbiaka once said, “Don't judge people by their physical appearances if you truly want to get to know them. Just watch their frequent footsteps and you would surely know their true personalities.” The act of fake true love is a major lesson shown in the play, Romeo and Juliet. The play is set in Verona, Italy, and is centered around two characters, Romeo and Juliet. The two fell in love at a party, but instantly realized they are from two feuding families, the Capulets, and Montagues. As their love advances throughout the story, they must figure out a way to be together although it is fate for them to die of their love. In the play, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare conveys the idea that the love between Romeo and Juliet was not true love, but an infatuation.

To begin with, the love connection between Romeo and Juliet was only based on the physical appearance of one another. True love can be defined as a strong and romantic connection between people that is not just based on a few aspects of the person. When Romeo and Juliet first met each other, the first thing that they notice with each other was based on their looks. Romeo was accidentally invited to Capulet’s party, but the only reason he accepted the invitation was because he noticed Rosaline’s name on the invitation list. When he went to the party, his only intention was to seek love from Rosaline, but immediately forgot about her when he saw Juliet for the first time. “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!.../Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,/For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5.51-60). This shows how Romeo was only attracted to Juliet because of her appearance. Moments ago, he was in awe of Rosaline and her beauty. Rapidly, Romeo changes his mind for Rosaline and puts all his focus on Juliet (SP 2). This does not demonstrate true love based on the fact that their love has begun to be built upon the fact of how they look. If this was true love, they would both develop a deeper understanding and love for each other that could only be discovered by getting to know each other. Also, as they meet each other, they are both wearing masks, so they wouldn’t have been able to see each other, so they couldn’t have been able to experience a full connection. Because of these reasons, the small connection that was created still hasn’t yet reached the point that it could be considered as true love. Another example of how Romeo and Juliet portray an attraction due to looks is when they sneak to find each other after the party. Romeo finds Juliet looking out from her window and all he does is admire her beauty. “Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,.../To twinkle in their spheres till they return.../The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars” (2.2.15-20). Shakespeare demonstrates the lack of true love between Romeo and Juliet in this because the only focus of Romeo is Juliet’s beauty. This is the only topic of Romeo when he talks about Juliet and this leads the readers to believe that their entire relationship is based on looks. The attraction of how each other look does not show a complete true love due to the absence of allurement from every other aspect of each other. As a result, the love between Romeo and Juliet is an infatuation because the entirety of their relationship is based on physical appearance.

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Next, Romeo and Juliet show an infatuation in their love due to the fact they have only known each other for a few days. They both aren’t familiar with each other and their feelings, resulting in the fact that this can’t yet be true love. Before Romeo and Juliet get married, Romeo and the Friar discuss Romeo’s love for Juliet. “A lover may bestride the gossamers/That idles in the wanton summer air,/And yet not fall, so light is vanity” (2.6.18-20). In this, Romeo describes that their love is still on a surface level. He adds that the lovers can walk on “gossamers” and this is due to the light and not yet strengthen love of them. As newly lovers, their love for each other hasn’t yet gone to a deeper level of love. Because of this, they can both easily be fooled to believe that this is true love, but it is shown their love doesn’t reach a level of true love. Continuing throughout the play, Shakespeare shows the absence of true love between Romeo and Juliet due to the fact they have just met. When Romeo expresses his love for Juliet, she responds saying she doesn’t yet feel the same way back. “My true-love passion. Therefore pardon me,/And not impute this yielding to light love,/Which the dark night hath so discoverèd” (2.2.109-11). Juliet tells Romeo that she does not fully love him yet. The overwhelming feeling of love Romeo feels for Juliet is not apparent for Juliet towards Romeo (SP 1). She doesn’t know Romeo well enough for her to consider herself to be in love with Romeo. Juliet is still getting to know Romeo and as a person before moving on in their relationship, but Romeo feels differently and wants to move quickly through it. She tells him to give her time to slowly “[discover]” him and figure out if she truly loves him before they move on. Therefore, Romeo and Juliet do not have true love because they haven’t gotten to know each other, nor spent any time together for them to have the relationship of people with true love.

On the other hand, some may believe that the love between Romeo and Juliet is true love. Romeo and Juliet both had an instant connection with each other and cannot stop thinking about one another. They also both love each other and continue to mention that there is true love between them throughout the play. Lastly, despite the fact they are from feuding families, Romeo and Juliet’s love is stronger and the feud cannot separate them. Although these are valid points, these do not demonstrate true love. Not only does one need to feel they are in love, the actions and behavior of two people can show their true love. When Juliet talks to herself, she makes note that although she loves Romeo, she isn’t truly able to be in love with him. “O, I have bought the mansion of love/But not possessed it, and, though I am sold,/Not yet enjoyed” (3.2.28-30). In this, Juliet has not explored the love she has “bought”. This shows how she does not yet know Romeo enough for her to have true love with him. By her “[buying] the mansion of love” and “not [possessing] it”, it shows how Juliet hasn’t experimented with the love she and Romeo has. Although they are in love, they haven’t shown their love through their actions. For this to be true love, Romeo and Juliet needs to be able to show their love for each other. Lastly, the love connection between Romeo and Juliet isn’t strong enough to be considered as true love. When Romeo talks about his love for Juliet, he wasn’t in control of his actions when he took notice of her. “By love, that first did prompt me to inquire./He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes./I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far” (2.2.85-87). This shows the blindness of Romeo and Juliet when they noticed each other. Romeo let his eyes take control of him, meaning his love for Juliet is for nothing other than how she looks. By them only finding love through seeing, they only see the outer beauty of each other. True love goes deeper into loving the inner beauty of one another too. To sum up, Romeo and Juliet do not show true love due to their lack of actions to show true love and they do not have a strong enough connection of love.


In conclusion, Romeo and Juliet do not demonstrate the act of true love in Romeo and Juliet. The entirety of their relationship is based on physical appearance and for this to be noted as true love, they would have needed to go deeper into their relationship learn about each other. Romeo and Juliet just recently met each other, so they don’t know each other too well. This does not show true love because haven’t gotten to know each other well enough and haven’t created a strong bond between each other. Romeo and Juliet haven’t reached the points in their relationship that lead them to true love. Without them being able to accomplish these things, Romeo and Juliet are never going to be able to reach the point of true love (SP 3). Their relationship is built on looks, so the foundation of their love will not last because they haven’t truly seen the beauty within each other. In closing, while true love is deeper than just the looks of one another, the love between Romeo and Juliet is an infatuation because their love is based on appearance and their love isn’t strong enough to be considered as true love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What seems to be the basis of Romeo and Juliet's attraction to each other?

The attraction between Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” stems from a combination of factors. Firstly, there is a strong physical and emotional chemistry between them. They are instantly captivated by each other’s beauty and are drawn to one another’s passionate nature. Secondly, their shared sense of longing and desperation for love plays a significant role. Both Romeo and Juliet feel isolated and misunderstood by their families and society, and they find solace and understanding in each other’s company. Lastly, their attraction is fueled by the forbidden nature of their love. The rivalry between their families, the Montagues and Capulets, heightens their desire for each other, as they are driven to be together despite the societal barriers and consequences.

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Were Romeo and Juliet Really in Love? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-infatuated-love-of-romeo-and-juliet/
“Were Romeo and Juliet Really in Love?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-infatuated-love-of-romeo-and-juliet/
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Were Romeo and Juliet Really in Love? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 Apr 19]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-infatuated-love-of-romeo-and-juliet/

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