Love Vs Infatuation In Romeo And Juliet Essay

Romeo And Juliet: Infatuation Or Love?

The play Romeo and Juliet has been considered to be the most touching love story of all time, but when you look closer and past all the initial “fantasies”, you see the truth. Romeo and Juliet believed that they were in love because of the mere idea of it, however based on their actions and the short amount of time that the stages of their “love” progressed in, it soon became clear that what they were actually feeling was infatuation.
Romeo, you see, may have possibly convinced himself that he loved Juliet. We all know that our friends do influence our decisions, and Benvolio’s constant nagging about finding a new love may have taken its toll on Romeo.
“Be ruled of me, forget to think of her.” (Act 1, Scene 1. Pg. 25.)
“Go thither; and, with unattained eye,
Compare her face with some I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.” (Act 1, Scene 2. Pg. 35.)
Not only the day before, had Romeo been in love with another girl, Rosaline. We can clearly see this when Romeo says:
“Out of her favour, where I am in love.” (Act 1, Scene 1. Pg. 21.)
“In sadness, cousin. I do love a woman.” (Act 1, Scene 1. Pg. 23.)
However, when Romeo attends a ball for simply the fact that Rosaline would have been there, he sees Juliet and instantly ‘falls in love’. Sure, we have all heard of the popular saying “It was love at first sight”, but how much of us really believe it? For how many of us does this actually apply to? Chances of ‘love at first sight’ is zero to none. And Romeo and Juliet’s case was no different than this. Romeo distinctly says,
“Did my heart love til now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty til this night.” (Act 1, Scene 5. Pg. 65.)
This is the beginning of their physical love. Throughout the whole play, the only thing they ever truly know of each other is their physical appearances. Throughout the whole four days, this is all they know. They lust for each other sexually, but there is no proof of them having any real friendship. It could be argued that their real desire was, actually, for each other’s bodies. We notice this during the balcony scene.
Juliet: “And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.”
Romeo: “I take thee at thy word.” (Act 2, Scene 2. Pg. 89.)
Romeo had been in love with a beautiful woman, – let’s not forget he was in love with her until the point when he saw Juliet – so it only seems natural that another beautiful girl could break his lovesick spell over Rosaline.
On the other hand, Juliet was nothing but a thirteen year old girl who was clueless about love. We understand how young and naïve Juliet is when the Nurse begins to reminisce about when she nursed Juliet. The Nurse lets us see the childish side of Juliet – she makes it seem as though it was only days ago that she was nothing but a small baby....

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There are many differences between love and infatuation. Infatuation is an intense, "all-absorbing passion" (Random House Dictionary). It especially lacks all sense of reason and can be very short lived, leading to fickleness. Love, on the other hand, is more of a choice. It's a decision to continue to trust, admire, and stay committed to a person. It's a feeling that deepens through time due to choice rather than ends suddenly. Since the...

There are many differences between love and infatuation. Infatuation is an intense, "all-absorbing passion" (Random House Dictionary). It especially lacks all sense of reason and can be very short lived, leading to fickleness. Love, on the other hand, is more of a choice. It's a decision to continue to trust, admire, and stay committed to a person. It's a feeling that deepens through time due to choice rather than ends suddenly. Since the couple died an untimely death, we don't really know what their feelings would or would not have developed into, but we do know that Romeo's feelings for Juliet, as well as for Rosaline, were more of an infatuation. We also know that, while Juliet's feelings began as infatuation, her love for Romeo matured into real love.

We know that Romeo's feelings are more akin to infatuation due to the intensity of his feelings plus the suddenness with which he switched from loving Rosaline to Juliet. His feelings for Rosaline and his hurt over her rejection were so intense and all-consuming that he worried his father due to the fact that he had been seen staying out all night, night after night, and been seen crying each morning at dawn. This all-consuming intensity alone and any rejection of reasonable advice is evidence alone that Romeo feels infatuation rather than real love. In addition, Romeo confesses to confusing real love with mere physical attraction, another symptom of infatuation, when he first sees Juliet in his lines, "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! / For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night" (I.v.54-55). Even Friar Laurence believes Romeo has confused real love with infatuation, as shown when he declares that "young men's love then lies / Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes" (II.iii.68-69). Even just before he marries them, Friar Laurence expresses the belief that all they feel for each other is mere infatuation by warning their love is likely to die just as soon as it has begun, "like fire and powder" (

While Juliet's love at first is also all about physical attraction, the moment Romeo kills her cousin Tybalt gives her a chance to make choices and for her love to mature. At first, she feels she has been deceived by Romeo and that his beautiful exterior really houses a devilish soul. But then she decides that she should not speak dishonorably of her husband, simply because he is her husband. She then makes the reasoned conclusion that Romeo must have killed Tybalt out of self-defense and further decides to continue loving and trusting Romeo. This one moment of choice is real love, but Romeo never has a moment to make a similar choice. Therefore, only Juliet's love for Romeo is mature enough to be considered real love rather than infatuation.


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