Throughout the play Shakespeare changes both Romeo’s and Juliet’s personalities. Shakespeare changed Romeo from a young boy innocently smitten with Rosaline, to a young man who is willing to give up everything for his infatuation with Juliet. When he was in love with Rosaline, he used several oxymorons and hyperbole to show that he was a bit confused about these new feelings of attraction. His rant about lead, smoke and fire highlights his unfamiliarity with these kinds of emotions. When he talks to Juliet about his feelings for her, he is very certain, and approaches it from a religious perspective, referring to saints, faith and prayers. Shakespeare changed Juliet even more drastically: from a peaceful, placid child the audience sees from her first appearance, to a woman who is willing to give the greatest sacrifice, her life, so she wouldn’t have to be without her passionate lover. He also changes how dependent Juliet is on others. From the first scene that she and the nurse are in together there is an obvious deep bond between them. The nurse is also used as a delegate between the two lovers and as an adviser on the relationship. Juliet also turns to Friar Laurence for plans and advice. By the end of the play she has refused the help and suggestions of both the nurse and the Friar and makes a completely independent choice to kill herself. If she hadn’t become infatuated with Romeo, she wouldn’t have ignored the advice of her closest and admired adults. Infatuation caused both Romeo and Juliet to think that they were wiser and more mature than they really were.
One of Shakespeare’s most famous scenes is the balcony scene, where Romeo and Juliet express their ardent and sudden love for each other. The famous lines easily come to mind for anyone familiar with the play. At first Juliet acted rationally. She did not think they should be meeting and talking; she thought it was too soon and too rash. It wasn’t long though before her feelings and emotions took over, rationality jumped off the balcony, and she was returning Romeo’s love and vowing to marry him. They both felt such strong feelings that, within just a few hours of meeting one another, they were willing to give up their families and their family names for each other. They called it love, but if they had stepped back and looked at the scenario, they might have realized that real love is not so hasty. In real love, they would have considered the consequences of their actions and of their potential union. They would have considered their families feelings. But they were carried away by their infatuation with each other and could think only of their own feelings. In this scene Shakespeare showed how spontaneous and unplanned the course of young infatuation can be.
The infatuation that