Romeo and Juliet

Romeo Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
The sixteen-year-old son of Montague and Lady Montague. He is cousins with Benvolio, and friends with Mercutio and Friar Laurence. Romeo's defining characteristic is the intensity of his emotions—whether in anger, love, or despair. Romeo is also intelligent, quick-witted, loved by his friends, and not a bad swordsmen. Over the course of the play, Romeo grows from a an adolescent who claims to be in love with Rosaline, but in reality seems more in love with the idea of love and with being a miserable wretch in the mold of classical love poets, to a young man who shares a deep and passionate love with Juliet and is willing to face the obstacles of friends, family, the law, fate, and, ultimately, death in order to be with her.

Romeo Quotes in Romeo and Juliet

The Romeo and Juliet quotes below are all either spoken by Romeo or refer to Romeo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Romeo and Juliet published in 2004.
Prologue Quotes
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows,
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Romeo, Juliet
Page Number: Prol.1-14
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 1, scene 1 Quotes
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first created;
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker)
Page Number: 1.1.181-184
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 1, scene 4 Quotes
Romeo: I dream'd a dream to-night.
Mercutio: And so did I.
Romeo: Well, what was yours?
Mercutio: That dreamers often lie.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Mercutio (speaker)
Page Number: 1.4.53-56
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 1, scene 5 Quotes
Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear,
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessèd my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 1.5.51-60
Explanation and Analysis:

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You kiss by th'book.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 1.5.121
Explanation and Analysis:

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My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 1.5.152-153
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, scene 2 Quotes
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 2.2.1-2
Explanation and Analysis:

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O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo, Montague
Page Number: 2.2.36-39
Explanation and Analysis:

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'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; —
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title: — Romeo, doff thy name;
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 2.2.41-52
Explanation and Analysis:

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I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptis'd;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet
Page Number: 2.2.53-55
Explanation and Analysis:

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Good-night, good-night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good-night till it be morrow.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 2.2.199-201
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 1 Quotes
Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford
No better term than this: thou art a villain.
Related Characters: Tybalt (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 3.1.61-62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Romeo: Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
Mercutio: No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Mercutio (speaker)
Page Number: 3.1.99-102
Explanation and Analysis:

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O, I am fortune's fool!
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker)
Page Number: 3.1.142
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Come, gentle night, — come, loving black brow'd night,
Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of Heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 3.2.21-27
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 5 Quotes
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.
Believe me love, it was the nightingale.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 3.5.1-5
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, scene 1 Quotes
Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud -
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble -
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.
Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 4.1.85-90
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, scene 1 Quotes
Then I defy you, stars!
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker)
Page Number: 5.1.25
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, scene 3 Quotes
O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. — Thus with a kiss I die.
Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet, The Apothecary
Page Number: 5.3.119-120
Explanation and Analysis:

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For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Related Characters: Prince Escalus (speaker), Romeo, Juliet
Page Number: 5.3.320-321
Explanation and Analysis:

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Romeo Character Timeline in Romeo and Juliet

The timeline below shows where the character Romeo appears in Romeo and Juliet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...Benvolio and Montague discuss the fight a little later, Lady Montague says she's glad that Romeo, her son, wasn't involved. Benvolio says that just before dawn he saw Romeo looking melancholy... (full context)
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Benvolio learns from Romeo that he is in love with Rosaline, a woman who has taken an oath of... (full context)
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Benvolio advises Romeo to find someone else to love. Romeo walks off, saying that he can't forget Rosaline.... (full context)
Act 1, scene 2
Servants Theme Icon
...servant, Peter, to deliver the rest of the invitations. But Peter can't read. Just then, Romeo and Benvolio happen along. Peter asks them if they'll read the list of invitations aloud... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
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...was one of the names on the list. He suggests they crash the party so Romeo can see his love isn't anything special compared to the other beauties there. Romeo agrees... (full context)
Act 1, scene 4
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Romeo, Benvolio, and their friend Mercutio (a kinsmen of Prince Escalus), walk toward the Capulet's ball.... (full context)
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Romeo says he dreamed that going to the feast was a bad idea. (full context)
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
...more nightmarish, revealing men's greed, violence, and sexual desire. Mercutio works himself into a fervor. Romeo breaks in and calms him down. (full context)
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Benvolio breaks in to say they'll be late if they don't hurry. Romeo again says he has a bad feeling. He senses that the events of the night... (full context)
Act 1, scene 5
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Romeo catches sight of Juliet. He doesn't know who she is, but immediately forgets Rosaline. He... (full context)
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Romeo approaches Juliet. Their entire first conversation is an intertwined fourteen line sonnet, in which they... (full context)
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The Nurse interrupts, calling Juliet to her mother. Romeo learns from the Nurse that Juliet's a Capulet. Moments later, Juliet says about Romeo, as... (full context)
Act 2, prologue
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
In another sonnet, the Chorus describes the obstacles facing the new love between Romeo and Juliet, but also says that "passion lends them power" (2.p.13). (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
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Just then, Romeo sees Juliet walk out onto a balcony. In a whisper he compares her to the... (full context)
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Juliet speaks: she asks why Romeo must be Romeo. She asks him to forswear his name, to give up being a... (full context)
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Romeo emerges from his hiding place, startling Juliet. She says that if Romeo is noticed he'll... (full context)
Act 2, scene 3
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Romeo rushes into Friar Laurence's cell. Friar Laurence immediately sees that Romeo did not sleep that... (full context)
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The Friar is suspicious of Romeo's sudden switch from Rosaline to Juliet. Romeo responds that Juliet, unlike Rosaline, returns his love.... (full context)
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...an opportunity to end the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, and agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet. (full context)
Act 2, scene 4
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Benvolio and Mercutio wonder what happened to Romeo the previous night. Benvolio mentions that Tybalt has challenged Romeo to a dual. In a... (full context)
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Romeo appears. Mercutio mockingly compares Rosaline to all the great heroines of classical literature. Romeo and... (full context)
Servants Theme Icon
The Nurse appears, looking for Romeo. For fun, Mercutio compares the Nurse to a prostitute for a while, then goes off... (full context)
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Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
The Nurse threatens some dire response if Romeo means to mislead Juliet. But Romeo says that if Juliet can get to Friar Laurence's... (full context)
Act 2, scene 6
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Friar Laurence and Romeo wait for Juliet. Romeo is so excited he says that no matter what sorrow might... (full context)
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Juliet arrives, and Romeo asks her to describe her love for him. But Juliet refuses. She comments that "They... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
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Romeo appears. Tybalt calls Romeo a "villain," but Romeo refuses to duel, saying that he loves... (full context)
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Mercutio, furious that Romeo refuses to stand up for himself, challenges Tybalt. They draw their swords and begin to... (full context)
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Romeo says to himself that love for Juliet has made him "effeminate." Tybalt returns. Romeo avenges... (full context)
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Benvolio tells Prince Escalus what happened. The Capulets demand that Romeo be executed, while the Montagues argue that Tybalt was to blame. Escalus banishes Romeo from... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
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Juliet begs nightfall to hurry in its coming, and to bring Romeo with it. She imagines that when she dies Romeo will be immortalized as stars in... (full context)
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The Nurse runs in crying and shouting "He's dead!" (3.2.36). Juliet thinks Romeo has killed himself, and threatens to kill herself. (full context)
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...starts calling out Tybalt's name. Juliet realizes there's been a mistake. The Nurse tells her Romeo killed Tybalt and has been banished. Juliet laments that Romeo could seem such an angel... (full context)
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Juliet tells the Nurse to find Romeo and bid him come that night to her room so that they can consummate their... (full context)
Act 3, scene 3
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Romeo, hiding in Friar Laurence's cell, learns he has been banished. He says banishment is worse... (full context)
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There is a knock on the door. Romeo hides. Friar Laurence lets in the Nurse. Romeo believes Juliet must think him a murderer... (full context)
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The Friar tells Romeo to go spend the night with Juliet and then before dawn to flee Verona for... (full context)
Act 3, scene 5
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The call of a bird wakes Romeo and Juliet just before dawn, but Juliet claims the bird is a nightingale rather than... (full context)
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Juliet stops pretending. She says it's day and Romeo must go. (full context)
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The Nurse enters and warns that Lady Capulet is approaching Juliet's room. Romeo hurries down the rope ladder. To Juliet, standing on her balcony, it looks as if... (full context)
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Lady Capulet enters, and soon begins to curse Romeo as the "traitor murderer" (3.5.84) of Tybalt. Juliet speaks so cunningly that it seems like... (full context)
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Juliet asks the Nurse for advice. The Nurse says that Romeo is banished and unlikely to return, so she should marry Paris. The Nurse tries to... (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
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...funeral, and inter Juliet in their family tomb. Meanwhile, the friar will get word to Romeo, who will come to the tomb in time to be there when she wakes, and... (full context)
Act 4, scene 3
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...if the Friar means to murder her to hide his participation in her marriage to Romeo? What if she wakes up in the vault before Romeo arrives, and goes insane because... (full context)
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Juliet sees a vision of Tybalt chasing Romeo, yet lifts the vial, toasts to Romeo, and drinks. (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
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Romeo, in Mantua, contemplates a happy dream he's had: Juliet found him dead, and brought him... (full context)
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Romeo shouts, "Then I defy you, stars" (5.1.24). He orders Balthasar to get him paper and... (full context)
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Romeo addresses Juliet, telling her "I will lie with thee tonight" (5.1.34). He finds a poor... (full context)
Act 5, scene 2
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Friar John, who Friar Laurence had sent to tell Romeo the plan about Juliet's fake death, returns. He explains that he never made it to... (full context)
Act 5, scene 3
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Romeo enters bearing a torch, with Balthasar following him. Romeo gives Balthasar a letter and instructs... (full context)
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Paris recognizes Romeo and thinks he has come to desecrate Tybalt's or Juliet's grave, or both. He draws... (full context)
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Romeo opens the tomb and carries the body of Paris inside. He sees Juliet, and is... (full context)
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Friar Laurence arrives at the churchyard and is greeted by Balthasar, who tells him that Romeo has returned to see Juliet. The Friar, sensing disaster, rushes to the tomb and sees... (full context)
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Juliet sees the vial clutched in Romeo's dead hand and realizes he killed himself by poison. She kisses his lips, hoping to... (full context)
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Fate Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...the Capulets, and then by Montague, who says his wife has died of grief over Romeo's banishment. Friar Laurence explains to them everything that happened. Balthasar hands over the letter from... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
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Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Instead of leaving the party with Benvolio and Mercutio, Romeo jumps the wall into the Capulet garden to try to find Juliet. Benvolio and Mercutio... (full context)