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Romeo and Juliet impulsive acts

Updated on March 11, 2010

Impulsive Acts of Romeo and Juliet

 In the play, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare, there are several contributions, which end the play tragically. When Romeo first meets Juliet at the Capulet’s ball, which by the way he is not supposed to be at in the first place, the conflicts begin to unfold. Although if Romeo does not go to the ball, then he would not meet Juliet, therefore we would not have a story. Another problem occurs when Romeo and Juliet decide to marry one another. Although they know that their families are enemies and that they hate each other, they proceed with their plans to get married. In the end, this also creates conflict. Although there are several variables that could change the outcome to the story, what really ended the story tragically is the impulsiveness of several characters throughout the play. If Lord Capulet, Romeo, and Friar Laurence do not make such impulsive decisions, then the play would end differently. This is what creates a tragic ending to the play. In Act IV, scene II, Lord Capulet makes the impulsive decision of changing Juliet’s wedding from Thursday to Wednesday. When Juliet returns from speaking to the Friar about her marriage to Count Paris, she tells her father that she has changed her mind. When her father hears this great news, he immediately changes the wedding date. Previously, in Act III, scene V, he arranges the wedding for Thursday. He says, “Monday! Ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon. / A’ Thursday let it bea’ Thursday, tell her, / She shall be married to this noble earl” (3.5.19-21). He plans it for Thursday because Wednesday is too soon, but when Juliet “changes her mind” about marrying Count Paris, he changes it to Wednesday. He says, “Go, nurse, go with her. We’ll to church tomorrow” (4.3.37). Although earlier in the story he said Wednesday was too soon, out of impulse and excitement, he changes it to Wednesday. If he does not change the wedding day to Wednesday, then the Friar’s plan might work and Romeo and Juliet could escape to Mantua and live happily. Because he changes the day of the wedding, Juliet has to drink the potion early and therefore, the friar has less time to deliver the message and therefore, Romeo was not able to get his letter from the friar that stated that Juliet was not dead. It also would explain to him the plan in which the friar came up with to prevent her from marrying Count Paris. You see, if Lord Capulet did not make the impulsive decision to change the day of the wedding, then the friar’s plan would have worked and the play would end differently. In Act V, scene I, Romeo acts impulsively when he immediately decides to kill himself when he hears of Juliet’s “death”. When Balthasar, Romeo’s servant, tells Romeo that Juliet is “dead” Romeo instantaneously decides to go to her tomb and die right beside her. He says, “Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight. / Let’s see for no means. O mischief, thou art swift/ To enter in the thoughts of desperate men! / I do remember and apothecary” (5.1.34-37). Impulsively, Romeo decides to buy poison from the apothecary and to go and kill himself that night right next to Juliet. If Romeo does not impulsively decide to poison himself, he might receive the message from the friar that she is not dead or if he just goes to the tomb with no attempts to commit suicide he might see Juliet awaken and find out that she actually is alive. However, because of the impulsive decision to kill himself, none of these things happen and therefore, the play ends tragically. In Act II, scene III, Friar Laurence impulsively decides to marry Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo tells him that he wants to marry Juliet, the Friar is surprised because just the night before, he was in love with Rosaline. The Friar decides to marry them because he thinks that it will end the feud. He says, “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be;/ For this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households’ rancor to pure love” (2.3.90-92). He thinks that marrying them will create peace within the two families. He does not realize that the families may not agree with their decision to get married or that it may even make the feud worse. Although he was being optimistic about the marriage, he did not really think about all of the things that could go wrong. This is why he made an impulsive decision. As Bert Cardullo points out, “The most obvious example of Friar Laurence’s rashness occurs in Act II, when he decides to honor Romeo’s request to maryy Juliet. The Friar’s intentions are good; he hopes, by joining the lovers in marriage ‘to turn [their] households’ rancour to pure love.’ But he acts without considering fully the possible consequences of such a secret marriage between members of feuding families” (Cardullo,63). This reveals the importance of the Friar’s brash behavior to the outcome of the play. He did not think to even think about all of the negative outcomes for their secret marriage. He does not marry them, then Juliet would not be sinning when she marries Count Paris later in the play. This is how Friar Laurence’s impulsive decision could have led to a different outcome to the play. In the play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet , Lord Capulet, Romeo, and Friar Laurence make impulsive decisions. Because of their impulsive decision, the play ends very tragically. If they think out their decisions before they actually take action or either verbalize it, then the play might end happily. Impulsive decisions cause the play to end tragically. If these characters are cautious in making their decisions they could significantly change the outcome of the play. This is what caused the tragical ending of the play.


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    • crg2211 profile image

      crg2211 2 years ago from Georgia, USA

      I'm glad. Thanks for reading!

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      bumcrack noodle 2 years ago

      this was pretty good. i like it, it helped me alot!

    • crg2211 profile image

      crg2211 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      I had to write this essay for my 9th grade literature class