“So, I die with a kiss. / Romeo dies.” This excerpt is from William Shakespeare’s: Romeo and Juliet; one of the most famous plays in history it portrays the struggle between love, family feuds, and peer pressure. Romeo's negative decisions are influenced by various outside forces because of behaviorism, thus ultimately causing his suicide.
Society, some of Romeo’s bad decisions are affected by society’s expectations, views, and social norms. In the 1300’s (time period Romeo and Juliet was set in) arranged marraiges were a large part of life, these expectations put pressure on a “Immature Teenage brain” Romeo’s impulsive love at first sight shows an example of the teen brain being “impatient because developing brain connections make it difficult for them to see the benefit of waiting longer for a larger reward.” Proving that Romeo became impatient in the struggle of finding a girl and starts to make rash decisions. As well as the struggle between the Capulets (Juliet) and Montagues (Romeo) two clans pit against each other as sworn enemies, yet Romeo and Juliet are secret lovers. That secrecy will put stress on immature teen brains and cause unusual behavior and sometimes depression one example, Romeo becoming depressed about Rosaline at the beginning of the play. Romeo often has a depressed and melancholy tone through out most of the acts which portrays the emotional and mental stress he is going through. To conclude, societies expectations and social norms are negatively effecting Romeo’s actions and mental state.
Parental Guidance, Romeo’s upbringing and family expectations, can affect his mental health (which can cause unusual behavior which leads to bad decisions) and, his choices he makes. Without a male role model in his life Romeo will lack guidance. “Suicide is 65% more likely for people with absent or no father”. No guidance in young Romeo’s life will cause catastrophic consequences as he does not have the person to mold him and teach him from right or wrong. With Romeo’s dysfunctional home life this could also cause him to develop bipolar tendencies, which causes impulsive behavior, and mood swings. Bipolar disorder can be induced by “traumatic childhood events.” Romeo exhibits these traits all throughout the play, such as his immediate love for Juliet, killing himself because of her apparent death, then even stating “this wound(love) keeps me down.” Romeo’s actions are as well as negatively affected by a mental health condition and a dysfunctional home life. In conclusion, Romeo’s odd home situation is affecting his mind in multiple bad ways.
Friends, some of Romeo’s friends influence him to make impulsive, rash, and bad decisions. For example in the beginning scenes Mercutio, and Benvolio make fun of Romeo for being a stick in the mud (because he won’t go to a party) , which prompts him to make an impulsive decision and go to the party with them. Showing that friends are pressuring Romeo to do things he is not comfortable with, thus causing him to change behavior. Furthermore, as Romeo is stuck on this impulsive high Romeo meets Juliet at the party calling her true love.
“He’s waiting for you to keep him company on the way up to heaven. Either you, or I, or both of us have to go with him.” This quote after Romeo finds Mercutio fought Tybalt and was killed, shows Romeo’s mood become anger and he makes an impulsive decision to kill Tybalt. Romeo’s willingness to prove himself because of insecurity by trying to break up Mercutio and Tybalt’s fight ultimately provides the downfall of one of his close friends, and his banishment to Mantua. Therefore, Romeo’s friends peer presuure him into acting and thinking certain ways which end up harming him.
Religion, Romeo’s catholic faith can misguide him, and pressure him to force an image upon himself that he is not. Through the entire play Romeo uses religion as a crutch, to get away with things which can turn into bad results. “Tell her to devise a plan to get out of her house and come to confession at the abbey this afternoon. At Friar Lawrence’s cell she can make confession and be married. Here is a reward for your efforts.” Romeo is saying him and Juliet will sneak off to Friar(religious leader) who will secretly marry them, but in both families minds their child is just going to confession. Romeo can use religion as a excuse and a pass, but it can also be a major burden. In the Catholic Religion at that time, there where many restrictions and rules you had to follow such as, abstinence, arranged marriage, and confession. Abstinence and arranged marriage were a big issue for Romeo’s love, Juliet was originally supposed to wed Paris, until she ran off with Romeo, as well as abstinence and modesty, Romeo and Juliet kissed the first night “O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do. They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.” Romeo uses religion as a crutch and the corrupted priest lets him feels that his decisions are moral and decent. Romeo’s excuses involved in his corrupt religion lead to bad things down the road as they feel invincible.
Psychoanalytic theory, this is the belief that your mind/conscience has three parts “ Id, Ego, Superego.” This contrasts behaviorism by stating the actions you commit are do to something that’s been in your brain before you were born, while behaviorism states you start off with a “clean slate” and morals get reinforced as you grow. Romeo’s decisions could deal with psychoanalytic theory in the sense that he could’ve been born with a mental disorder. But, there is too many outside factors influencing all of his decisions, and Romeo cannot be born with the mentality that Church can just be a cover up, that notion has to be instilled into him. Thus, Romeo’s bad decisions are caused by Behaviorism.
All in all, Romeo's bad decisions are influenced by his world around him, because of behaviorism, thus ultimately causing his death. Romeo’s demise is the story of not letting people and things change you.