Act 1 introduces the main characters love sick Romeo, obedient Juliet, peacemaker Benvolio, fiery Tybalt, Boardy Nurse, and formal Lady Capulet and shows their individual personalities.
In the first fight scene we get to know 2 of the main characters Benvolio a Montague and Tybalt the kinsman of Capulet also known as the Prince of Cats. Benvolio is perceived as a peacemaker, Tybalt on the other hand seems to love to fight. He is a fiery character and has a passionate hate for Montague’s. I know Benvolio is a peacemaker from his first line in the scene which is
“Part fools; you know not what you do”
He says this when he stumbles across a fight between the two houses. This quote also shows that he is a sensible character and that he believes fighting does not solve your problems. Tybalt in response to this line
“Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.”
He believes fights are the only way to show who is in control “what drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word” He hates Montague’s strongly “as I hate hell, all Montague’s and thee” Tybalt is full of hate. Tybalt is not a patient character and he is willing to do anything to keep up the honour of the household Capulet. He is proud to be a Capulet and is determined to make it be known.
“What dares the slave,
Come hither, cover’d with an antic face
To fleer and scorn our solemnity?
Now by the stock and honour of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.
Romeo the son of lord Montague is a daydreamer and a thinker. He is very fickle as he falls so quickly in and out of love. From his part in act 1 I can see he is love sick with Rosaline.
“She hath foresworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now”
He is saying that she has sworn not to love and because of this he feels like life is not worth living. At this moment of the play Romeo is extremely depressed and his emotions are very strong
“Not I believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles,
I have a soul of lead so stakes me to the ground I cannot move.”
By the fifth scene Romeo has seen Juliet and instantly fallen in love forgetting about Rosaline completely,
“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”
He is completely infatuated by her and believes that she is everything in his life although he has only just seen her, this shows he is fickle and falls in love easily.
Juliet the daughter of Capulet is an obedient child and wishes to please everyone,
“But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives me to make it fly”
She is basically saying I won’t give him anymore encouragement than you allow me. Juliet only speaks when she is spoken to and keeps her phrases short. I think when she answer the question does she want to marry she seems to say what she thinks her mother wants her response to be “it is an honour I dream not of.” This phrase tells me that she is quick thinking as it can be interpreted in many ways which means anyone that hears it will be satisfied with her answer. Juliet is a dramatic character and once she has her heart set on something she will not let it pass.
“If he be married, my grave is my wedding bed”
Juliet is only a young girl which makes her seem innocent and sometime a bit naï¿½ve.
In scene 3 we are introduced to two characters called Nurse and lady Capulet. They both play a part in young Juliet’s life. Juliet acts different around each character and this portrays the nurse’s and lady Capulet’s characteristics. Juliet acts relaxed and comfortable when she is in the nurse’s company. I can tell this as she openly shares her feelings with the nurse. She tells the nurse about her love for Romeo although it is forbidden
“My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
I think the reason for their strong relationship is because she has nursed Juliet all of her life and knows her character very well. I think that lady Capulet’s relationship is a contrast to the nurses with Juliet. Lady Capulet and her daughter have a formal relationship.
“Madam, I am here what is your will”
Juliet is extremely quiet around her mother and obedient. Lady Capulet’ wish for her daughter is to be married and a happy mother soon just as she was at her age.
“I was your mother much upon these years that you now are maid.
Thus in brief: the valiant Paris seeks your love.”
I can also tell that the mother and Juliet’s relationship is formal by the way Juliet is addressed, “Tell me daughter Juliet” however the nurse has a nickname for her “wilt though not Jule?”
The Nurse is seen as one of the family, in the beginning of the scene the nurse is asked to leave the room “nurse give us leave awhile, we must talk in secret”. Then lady Capulet calls her back at once as she is basically Juliet’s second mother “I have remember’d me, thou’s hear our counsel”.
The nurse knows Juliet’s character better than lady Capulet as she remembers trivial details and is always reminiscing about her childhood
“Faith I can tell her age onto an hour”
Lady Capulet on the other hand seems uninterested about Juliet’s past and only cares about her marriage.
Lady Capulet is very direct “tell, me daughter Juliet, how stands your deposition to be married” while the nurse is the complete contrast very chatty and repetitive. She is forever making rude jokes “no less! Nay, bigger women grow by men”. Lady Capulet does not approve of this “enough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace. The nurse is extremely boardy she loves to talk and never seams to finishes her line of thought before going onto a next subject she is also quite repetitive.
I can tell that lady Capulet is formal because of the way she describes a man she compares them to objects such as a flower or a book,
“Read o’er the volume of young Paris’s face, and find delight writ there with beauties pen.”
The nurse on the other hand is much more informal she describes men as sexy rather then interesting,
“A man young lady! Lady, such a man
As all the world-Why, he is a man of wax.
I think that act I portrays the characters in interesting ways, through fight scenes and love scenes, and I am interested to find out how the characters develop in the following acts.