Romeo And Juliet Commentary Essay, Research Paper
Romeo and Juliet – Commentary
There are three characters in this extract: The servant (the Clown), Benvolio and Romeo. The servant plays only a minor role, being merely a device to allow Romeo to meet Juliet. Benvolio’s name in Latin may be translated loosely to “I mean well” this is a fitting moniker for one who always offers good advice to Romeo. Romeo on the other hand is the impetuous, head-strong young man whose character is displayed by his obstinacy over his proclaimed undying love for Rosaline (until he meets Juliet obviously).
Scene 2 takes place on a Sunday afternoon, Capulet and Paris have discussed what will become of Juliet, but Capulet is still wary of Paris marrying Juliet (quite the opposite to his wife). They depart having entrusted the clown with the list of guests. This leads us on to the servant asking for Romeo’s help in reading the list, therefore alerting Romeo to the forthcoming party.
The passage is one that serves mainly to advance the plot, and to construct a situation whereby Romeo ends up going to Capulet’s party. The way in which Benvolio advises Romeo to compare Rosaline to any other girl at the party is very similar to the advice given by Capulet to Paris at the beginning of the scene. This shows how much Benvolio actually cares for Romeo, in direct contrast to there companion Mercutio who although he cares for Romeo, doesn’t quite have the same relationship with Romeo as Benvolio the latter acts more like a confidante and a protector for Romeo.
It is very interesting to note the tremendous odds against Romeo meeting Juliet. He was the only person out of all the literates in Verona to be asked by the Capulet’s apparently dim-witted servant to read the list of guests. This raises the question as to whether it was fate and not just coincidence that the servant met up with Romeo. One might argue that the meeting of Romeo and Juliet would never occurred were it not for the servant asking Romeo to read him the list.
Romeo makes numerous allusions to heresy and witchcraft in lines 88-93 saying:
“These who, often drowned, could never die, (witches drowning but magically surviving)
Transparent heretics burnt for liars” meaning that his eyes would burn out if he saw someone more beautiful than Rosaline because they would be liars, ironically this is just what happens- he meets Juliet.
The play’s plot experiences a mid point of sorts in this scene as Romeo loves Rosaline but he is just about to meet Juliet, and forget all about Rosaline.
It is already possible to speculate on the play’s ending, even though the real story has scarcely begun. As Romeo is in love with Juliet and they are members of two opposing families, it is hard to see a way which the play can end happily.