Mon. April. 30, 2018
Passion Versus Reason
All decisions in life should be made with a balance of emotion and logic. If not balanced correctly, there will be consequences. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, a play by William Shakespeare, the theme of emotions outweighing reason is explored, resulting in the deaths of many, including the deaths of young lovers, Romeo and Juliet. This is shown through many characters and their actions caused by their personalities, which eventually lead to their downfall. Along with that, the motif of fear causes emotions to outweigh reason, and on top of that, multiple conflicts arise, which cause many characters to think unclearly and use their judgement based on emotions solely.
Firstly, Romeo is known to be a very emotional character, often becoming upset about small situations. He lets his emotions run wild when he kills himself after thinking his love, Juliet is dead. An example of this is when Romeo says “Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide/ Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on/ The dashing rocks thy seasick, weary bark/ Here’s to my love!” (Shakespeare 5.3.116-119). Romeo was clearly sunken in sorrow at the fact that Juliet died, and he is only thinking with emotion, which leads to his demise. Moving on, Romeo’s emotions outweigh reason when he kills Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, after Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo’s loyal friend. Romeo was outraged with his friend’s death, and didn’t take the time to think about the consequences. His emotions were leading him to revenge, which led to Tybalt’s death and eventually, Romeo’s exile from Verona. Furthermore, Juliet is also known to be an emotional character, who makes many hasty actions due to her overwhelming emotion.
Secondly, the motif of fear is often explored throughout the play. Fear causes people to do irrational things and there are always consequences. Firstly, Juliet is afraid of marrying Paris, the man she is forced to marry, so she takes a sleeping potion to make her appear dead. This is so when everyone thinks she’s dead, she can be retrieved by Romeo, who is in exile, when she wakes up. Juliet never thought about the consequences that could arise due to her taking the sleeping potion. This eventually causes Romeo’s death as new never went to him that Juliet faked her death, proving that fear has an influence on Juliet’s emotion when coming up with a significant decision. In addition, male dominance as a motif occurs throughout the play many times through Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, who strongly represents the stereotypical dominant male. It is clear that emotions outrule reason when Tybalt enters hot blooded and ready to fight anyone. “Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries// that thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw” (Shakespeare 3.1.65-66). He acts strong to defend his family honour, so it is because of his emotional anger that rules over reason, that eventually kills Mercutio at this sword fight. Finally, the motif of hate allows people to make irrational decisions using their emotions, without thinking about consequences.
Finally, the figurative language in this play clearly demonstrates how emotions can overpower logic and reason. Firstly, there is the use of a hyperbole which in this case helps exaggerate the effect of the statement. Right after Romeo meets Juliet, he goes to Friar Laurence, a religious confessor and tells him “I stand on sudden haste” (Shakespeare 2.3.93), after telling him he wants to marry Juliet, whom he has just met. This shows that Romeo is lovestruck and is not thinking about the fact that it is not logical to marry someone the day after meeting them, thus proving the idea of emotions overpowering reason. Moving on,
At some point in everyone’s life, their emotions dictate reason and logic, and this occurs many times throughout the play of Romeo and Juliet. First, To conclude, although Romeo and Juliet were star crossed lovers, maybe they wouldn’t have d
Shakespeare, William, et al. Romeo and Juliet: Teacher’s Guide. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Canada, 1987.