Q:

What are the major character traits of "Romeo and Juliet"?

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In William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo is a free-spirited teenager who, at the beginning of the play, is infatuated with a girl named Rosaline to the point of unhealthy obsession. When he meets Juliet, his affections immediately change, and instead of viewing the object of his love objectively and in a shallow manner, as he did with Rosaline, he views Juliet as a radiant beauty worthy of his awe and admiration. Juliet is younger, not quite 14 years old, and when she first meets Romeo, she no longer thinks logically but rather with her emotions and heart, forsaking the rivalry between her family and Romeo's and meeting him anyways in secret.

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Full Answer

Romeo was plagued by the unrequited love he felt for Rosaline, so when he meets Juliet and his feelings are reciprocated, he quickly proceeds to make vows of love with Juliet. He formerly has not fought the rivalry between the Montagues and Capulets, and ignites much hate between himself and Tybalt, a relative to the Capulets. After his love for Juliet is developed and they are married, he restrains himself from fighting with the Capulets, who are then his family by marriage.

In the beginning of the play, Juliet is more timid and submissive to the formalities and requirements of her position within her family and town. As her relationship with Romeo quickly grows, she gains more confidence and moves dramatically toward a more independent female role. This is seen when she refuses to marry the man her parents had arranged for her, Paris, and instead makes the decision to marry Romeo.

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