Romeo and Juliet: Impulses and Restraints

Category: Romeo and Juliet
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Romeo and Juliet’s impulses and self-control used in Romeo and Juliet. In the play of Romeo and Juliet, many characters show how they cannot handle the pressure that they are faced with which leads to impulse and action which is taken without thinking it through. Many of the characters show a lack of self-control and exaggerations which leads to broken-hearts and many unfortunate situations which result in deaths and miscommunications. Over the course of Romeos love life, he tends to act on an impulse whenever he sees a girl that he likes based on her looks.

Romeo can go from depressed and unhappy because a girl does not love him back, to very happy because he meets another girl that he instantly likes. Before Romeo enters the Capulet’s party, he spills his heart out and tells Benvolio all about how he's feeling about Rosaline because he is very heart-broken that she doesn't love him back. Romeo himself has never spoken to Rosaline and has based his "love" on her looks. “What doth her beauty serve but as a note/ where I may read who passed that passing fair? / Farewell.

Thou canst not teach me to forget. " (Act 1, Scene 1, 228-230) Romeo keeps saying that he will never forget someone like Rosaline and that she is the one and only that he could ever be with. But then he sees Juliet and forgets all about Rosaline. Romeo compares Juliet to a jewel that is hanging off an Ethiop's ear meaning that it stands out. He says that she is the most beautiful girl in the world and that she outshines all the other women like a white dove in the middle of a flock of crows. Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

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It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night As a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear-, Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear: So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, (act 1, scene 5, 43-47) Juliet acts on a rash impulse and decision when she sees Romeo at Capulet`s party and she instantly falls in love with him but when she is on the balcony, she shows a little bit of restraint in deciding to marry him. When Romeo finally approaches Juliet at the party, they talk for a bit then share a kiss twice with each other.

Once the two parts their ways, Juliet knows she has fallen in love with Romeo right away and she is already making haste decisions on a relationship with Romeo. But when Juliet is on the balcony, she is very upset because she had found out from the nurse that Romeo is a Montague and since she is a Capulet, they cannot be together. “Deny thy father and refuse thy name. / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, /And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (Act 2, Scene 2, 34-36) Juliet just wishes for Romeo to swear that he loves her because then she will stop being a Capulet.

Once Romeo comes out of the bushes from hiding, both Romeo and Juliet begin to talk about making plans to get married even though they just met. They would do the wedding in secret without anyone knowing. Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow By one that I’ll procure to come to thee Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite, And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay And follow thee my lord throughout the world. (Act 2, Scene 2, 144-148) Juliet would want Romeo to send her a message saying where they would get married if Romeo`s intentions were actually true.

She said to Romeo how she would lay all her fortunes at his feet and follow him all around the world. But before Juliet agrees to get married to Romeo, she demonstrates some restraint at first asking Romeo if them getting married isn’t too fast. ”It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, / Too like the lightning, wh-ich doth cease to be / Ere one can say “It lightens. ” Sweet, good night. ” (Act 2, Scene 2, 118-120) Juliet referred to their decision as being too rash and fast as lightning because they haven`t done much thinking through with their decision and they`re making an impulsive conclusion to get married.

Romeo acts on a reckless and foolish reaction towards Tybalt when he witnesses him kill his best friend Mercutio. Mercutio and Tybalt get into a brawl because Romeo was supposed to fight Tybalt but instead, Mercutio does it for him, so when Romeo steps in between the two, Tybalt thrusts Mercutio with the sword under Romeo`s arm killing him. Romeo gets very mad and immediately acts on his quick and careless emotions and impulsively goes at Tybalt to kill him. And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now" (act 3, scene 1, 120) Romeo said this when he went after Tybalt which meant that Romeo didn't care from now on what happened because he just wanted to hurt Tybalt for killing Mercutio as revenge. After Romeo finally got to Tybalt he stabbed him and killed him which led to him getting banished by the Prince. This causes a conflict because he is not allowed to be in Verona anymore which means that he wouldn't be able to see Juliet anymore.

Romeos impulsive reaction has not only acted against him now, but for Juliet as well because they just got married and they won`t be able to see each other from now on. Throughout the play, not only did Romeo and Juliet show acts of impulse and restraint, but other characters like Mercutio did as well which attributed to how others reacted as well. This resulted in broken-hearts and fatal events which affected everyone. The characters lack of self-control without thinking resulted in difficulties throughout the play which led to many problems that had to be later faced with.

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Romeo and Juliet: Impulses and Restraints. (2017, Jun 04). Retrieved from

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