By the end of the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare it is clear that the actions of many characters lead to the unfortunate demise of the two lovers, however, it is seen that Romeo’s actions contribute more dramatically to the deaths than that of the other characters. His fickle personality, reckless nature, childish behavior and inability to show logic and passionate temperament are all significant factors that lead to the death of him and Juliet.
Romeo’s inconsistent and obsessive personality caused him to pursue and marry Juliet despite the dangers that would be involved. At the beginning of the play Romeo is pining for Rosaline and despairing at her indifference towards him, however she slips his mind at first sight of Juliet. His infatuation with her after their first meeting compels him to sneak into the garden of his enemy, risking death to simply catch a glimpse of her, and then to rush her into a marriage 24 hours later. In 2:2:80-82 “but thou love me, let them find me here. My life better ended by their hate than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.” The romantic yet ignorant tone of his words indicates the extent and intensity of his infatuation with Juliet. The use of the words “better ended” and “death” illustrates the magnitude of his obsession and the degree that he is willing to go to in order to obtain the love of a girl that he has just met. His words are also unknowingly foreshadowing his and Juliet’s deaths as he desperately works and attempts to win over her affection. The juxtaposition of the words “life” and “death” proves that he is aware of the dangers and risks involved if he pursues a relationship with her, however he foolishly chooses to disregard and ignore this knowledge and this consequently these actions and decisions lead to the tragic demise of Romeo and Juliet.
Further, his reckless nature compels him to kill his wife’s cousin in a thoughtless duel to avenge the death of his friend. Romeo’s actions in this scene are significant in influencing the tragic ending if the play. This aggressive and vengeful response to Mercutio’s death, results in Tybalt’s murder and consequently the banishment of Romeo. His rage over the death of his friend leads him to act on his overwhelming feelings of anger and hatred towards Tybalt and to not consider the consequences of his actions. This can be seen in 3:1:123-128 “fire-eyed fury be my conduct now… either thou or I, or both, must go with him” The tone of Romeo’s anger and revenge is clear in this alliteration. The high modality in the words “away” and “must” emphasized the wrath that Romeo feels and his inability to contain and control his emotions. The alliteration of the sharp “f” sound expresses the idea of Romeo’s hate towards Tybalt and the personification in “fire- eyed fury”, further demonstrates the vengeance and rage that Romeo is feeling within him. His impulsive nature can be clearly distinguished by the change in his behaviour, from peacekeeper earlier in the scene, to a savage killer by the end. This brutal act of violence contributes to the death of Romeo and Juliet, as it is a catalyst to a series of events, which leads to the deaths of the star-crossed lovers.
In addition Romeo’s childish behavior and inability to show reason or logic after he viciously murdered Tybalt, shows that he is unwilling to accept the consequences of his actions, and is ungrateful for the leniency that the prince has shown him through the sentence of banishment. Distraught, he claims that banishment is far worse than death since he will have to live without Juliet. The friar attempt to counsel him but to no avail and he threatens to commit suicide. In 3:3:22-24 Romeo says “Calling death ‘banished’, thou cuttest my head off with a golden axe and smilest upon the stroke that murders me”. The melodramatic tone of this sensual imagery shows Romeo’s self absorption, he is