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The Relationship Between Shakespeare’s Characters That Demonstrate Love vs. Infatuation

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I love my dog, she is very soft and pretty. She is loyal and sweet but she has a skin condition so when I give her a bath she starts to lose her fur and smell but I still love her. If I was infatuated with her I would ask my parents to get rid of her and move on to the next dog. The love I have for my dog was from time, care, and attention. However, with Shakespeare’s characters, they all immediately are infatuated with instant gratification. In William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses the relationships between characters to demonstrate the thematic concept of love vs. infatuation.

Shakespeare illustrates the thematic concept of love vs. Infatuation with Romeo and Rosaline. For instance, Romeo is obsessed with Rosaline even though she has taken a vow of chastity. “Still stalking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feels I that feel no love in this” (I.i.188-196). Romeo has been locking himself in his room, for a few days sulking that Rosaline has taken a vow of chastity and vows to stay that way till death. Romeo will do/say anything to get Rosline to go on a date with him. Furthermore, Romeo will go to the party just to find Rosaline and convince her to change her mind and not take the vow of chastity. “I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown, But to rejoice in splendor of my own”(I.ii.107-108). Romeo is Infatuated and not in love with rosaline because one Romeo is not invited to the party but he will go to the party only to see Rosaline. o Foremost, Romeo is infatuated with Rosaline even though she has told him that she is not interested in him and has taken a vow of chastity.

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Love vs. infatuation occurs between Paris and Juliet when he constantly ask for her hand. Particularly, when Paris asks for her hand after Juliet's cousin had been slain. “These times of woe afford no time to woo… I would that Thursday were tomorrow”(III.iv.8 and 32). Paris believes that sad times aren't a good time to talk about marriage but he is so infatuated over Juliet to me that he will do anything to make sure that she will marry him. Even though Juliet is disgusted by Paris and has decided that she does not want to marry him. Additionally, Juliet even complains that she does not want to marry Paris in front of her mother. “He shall not make me there a joyful bride! I wonder at this haste, that I must wed Ere he that should be husband comes to woo.”(III.v.132-134) When someone is infatuated you can easily move on to another girl so if Paris were to see a girl that was prettier than Juliet then he would be infatuated with her instead of Juliet. Also Paris says that he does not want to marry Juliet in a tragic time like this to then later on say that he wants to marry her on Thursday. Furthermore, Paris’s infatuation for Juliet has led him to want to marry her in weeks after knowing her.

Romeo and Juliet had started the relationship as an infatuation. For example, only a few hours after the party she proclaims her love for him. “I wish but for the thing I have. My bounty is boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. I hear some noise within” (II.ii.145-149). Juliet would do anything that Romeo wants in order to be with him. Romeo would even leave his family just to be with Juliet and this shows how infatuated, Romeo is for Juliet. Moreover, Juliet asks Romeo to marry her tomorrow “Thy purpose marriage send me word tomorrow, by one that I'll procure to com to thee,where and what time thou wilt perform the rite”(II.ii.151-153). Juliet does this so suddenly because when someone is infatuated for someone else they will do anything to make it a lifetime Bond. Romeo only agrees to this because he is so infatuated with Juliet. Ultimately, Romeo and Juliet do get married and later on they do fall in love because of the hard decision that Juliet had to make.

The lesson we learned in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet that connects to 2019 is that we should take things slower in a relationship. A lot of teenagers have a relationship via cell phone and social media which gives some instant gratification when things are going well but it can be tragic when there is no feedback. Teenagers should put their cellphones down and stop posting fake videos. They should not be like Romeo and Juliet with their love that wasn’t real. It is important for teenagers on Snapchat or YouTube to get “likes” or get a “shoutout,” these things are not real when we tie our emotions to other people's opinions about a post on social media. It is similar to Romeo and Juliet’s reaction when their families dislike the relationship. We should learn from this play to take things slow, not relying on other people's opinions and pay attention to others.

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The Relationship Between Shakespeare’s Characters That Demonstrate Love vs. Infatuation. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from
“The Relationship Between Shakespeare’s Characters That Demonstrate Love vs. Infatuation.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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