Soulless Stupidity Essay

Submitted By 96nassah
Words: 1093
Pages: 5

Soulless Stupidity

“You have now reached infatuation’s final destination - the complete and merciless devaluation of self.” This quote by the American author, essayist, biographer, and novelist Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the nature and detrimental consequences of infatuation that sufficiently summarize both Romeo and Juliet’s fatal flaw. However, while infatuation is evident in both Romeo and Juliet, it occurs far more often and easily in Romeo and has caused him to make several unsafe and rash decisions. Therefore, Romeo’s whimsical infatuation with Juliet is ultimately responsible for their deaths. For example, Romeo originally felt the same way about Rosaline, but quickly lost all interest of her at his very first sight of Juliet. He then continues to make several very risky decisions such as climbing over the wall onto Capulet property which he knows could easily end with him being killed. Lastly, making the decision, without any consideration of the consequences, to kill himself after seeing the seemingly dead Juliet in her tomb are all examples of Romeo’s whimsical infatuation causing him to make rash decisions. From the beginning of the play, Romeo believes himself to be absolutely in love with another girl named Rosaline, so much so that he is depressed and heartbroken because she has chosen to be chaste. Initially, Romeo is so infatuated with her that he cannot think of loving anyone else or even considering anyone else more beautiful than her. Romeo says, “Show me a mistress that is passing fair/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.” (1.1.225-228) This quote shows that while Benvolio is attempting to give Romeo advice on how to move on, Romeo refuses it stating that he cannot forget Rosaline. When Benvolio suggests there will be more attractive women at the party the Capulets are hosting, Romeo states, “One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun/Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.” (1.2.94-95) Again, this quote shows that Romeo is not even open to believing that there could possibly be another woman out there that is more beautiful than Rosaline. Lastly, Romeo only agrees to go to the Capulet’s party because he hopes to see Rosaline there. Romeo states, “I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,/But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.” (1.2.103-104) Despite his proclaimed love for Rosaline, the moment he sets his eyes on Juliet all of his previous feelings are transferred onto her. This proves that he never really loved Rosaline at all and that it was just a whimsical infatuation that caused him to say and feel what he did, as is the same case with Juliet. After meeting briefly and exchanging a few kisses, Romeo and Juliet both believe to have fallen madly in love with each other. Because of this false belief, Romeo makes several rash and risky decisions. For example, in the middle of the night, Romeo sneaks out, climbs over a wall and onto Capulet property just to speak with Juliet. When he arrives Juliet says, “The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,/ And the place death, considering who thou art,/If any of my kinsmen find thee here.” (2.2.63-65) Here she tells Romeo that if he is caught on Capulet property he could very easily be killed, but he simply doesn’t care and states, “With love’s light wings did I o'erperch these walls,/For stony limits cannot hold love out,/And what love can do, that dares love attempt.” (2.2.66-68) He again responds by ignoring the reality that he could loose his life if he is caught and attempts to justify the risk in love’s name. This response exhibits that his infatuation with Juliet has caused him to make this rash and risky decision without first even contemplating the consequences. When Romeo arrives at Juliet’s tomb after hearing about her apparent death, he plans to kill himself in order to be with her by drinking a vile of poison. Romeo says, “O, what