Romeo And Juliet Study Guide Essay

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ROMEO AND JULIET
CHARACTER

Romeo

Juliet

Friar Lawrence

Mercutio

The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. Eighteen years old. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline.

The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet.Thirteen­year­old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to
Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliet’s closest friend and confidant is her nurse, though she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the
Nurse turns against Romeo.

A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic­minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar
Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs. A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend.

The Nurse

Juliet’s nurse, the woman who breast­fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long­winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. But, until a disagreement near the play’s end, the
Nurse is Juliet’s faithful confidante and loyal intermediary in
Juliet’s affair with Romeo. She provides a contrast with Juliet, given that her view of love is earthy and sexual, whereas
Juliet is idealistic and intense. The Nurse believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice­looking husband, but the idea that
Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her.

Tybalt

Capulet

Lady Capulet

A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side.

The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague.

Juliet’s mother, Capulet’s wife. A woman who herself married young (by her own estimation she gave birth to
Juliet at close to the age of fourteen), she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris. She is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support.

Montague
­

Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is ­ chiefly concerned about Romeo’s melancholy.

Lady Montague
­

Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She dies of grief after
Romeo is exiled from Verona.

Paris

A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet. Once Capulet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward her, acting as if they are already married.

Benvolio

Friar John

Balthasar

Samson & Gregory

Abram

Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend, he makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help
Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet.

A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in…