Depression, Mania and Hopelessness in Romeo & Juliet Play

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Depression, Mania and Hopelessness In Romeo & Juliet Play

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Depression, mania, and hopelessness: these emotions have plagued the mind of Romeo. To escape this nightmare, which was enhanced by his heartbreaking experiences, Romeo had one choice—suicide. Regarding that, Romeo does suffer from manic depression, resulting in depressive lows and manic highs, and his eventual death; this occurred due to his mental trauma from emotional loss, and the warring Capulets and Montagues, which would push Romeo to commit suicide.

Experiences in Romeo’s life have led to him getting manic depression. These experiences are due to poor relationships among loved ones and the warring Capulets and Montagues. As a result, Romeo underwent emotional highs and lows, a split personality, and irrationality; when his love for Rosaline was not accepted, this contributed to Romeo developing manic depression, by causing a '…depressed mood, loss of pleasure, low energy and activity, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.” (Bipolar II Disorder Symptoms and Signs). These symptoms are displayed when Romeo says, “I have a soul of lead So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.”  showing that he is feeling worthless, and hopeless due to his failed relationship which are aspects of manic depression. Other experiences have also caused his manic depression. For example, when he met Juliet, this also contributed to his manic depression development, by making him act, “very “up,” “high,” or related” (NIMH). Also, because he met Juliet, he suffered from uncharacteristic impulsive behavior (a symptom of manic depression), this is shown when he asked to marry Juliet within 12 hours of the meeting. Additionally, it also shows him engaging in risky behavior since he is disregarding the danger that could arise from marrying someone considered a rival to Romeo’s family, which is a factor of manic depression. This shows that many events in Romeo’s life have led to his manic depression, leading to Romeo making poorly thought-out decisions and displaying feelings of mania and depression.

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Romeo’s disorder has caused him to undergo the symptoms of depressive episodes, which are the emotional lows of manic depression. Resulting from this, Romeo had experienced excessive tearfulness, as shown when he displays, “…tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew…” after his love for Rosaline was not approved. This behavior shows the intense emotional damage caused by his rejection from Rosaline. This rejection is what triggered his first depressive episode, which would cause these emotions. During this episode, Romeo displays a “…persistent feeling of sadness…” (Depression (major depressive disorder) - Symptoms and causes), which proves Romeo has manic depression. The symptoms of a depressive episode are also shown to impact Romeo when he says that, “Griefs of my own lie heavy in my breast.”  This shows that he is in a depressive episode since he is showing signs of grief and despondency, which are both symptoms of this. Also, it shows his extreme feelings of melancholia due to his rejection, which also proves he suffers from manic depression. In conclusion, Romeo endured a depressive episode which caused intense feelings of grief, worthlessness, sadness, and tearfulness because of rejection from Rosaline.

Romeo has suffered from manic episodes from his manic depression, which is a symptom of manic depression, that caused extreme changes in his mentality. Due to this disorder, Romeo displayed “…impulsive or risky behaviors with the potential for dangerous consequences…” (Bipolar II Disorder Symptoms and Signs), poor judgment, and elation. When Romeo attacks Tybalt and kills him with disregard for the consequences of this, to avenge Mercutio after he was killed by him, this shows the effects of his manic episode on his behavior. This action also shows the devastating psychological impact that the manic episode has had on him, since he acted out of anger, agitation and irrationality. This manic episode has also caused Romeo to be, “…extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior...” (NIMH). This is shown when Romeo has a distinctive change in personality, from being extremely depressed to being extremely love-struck and happy when he firsts meet Juliet. These feelings are also displayed when he climbs over the orchard walls at Juliet’s residence to profess his passionate feelings of love for her, and the happiness he bliss he gains from her. To close, Romeo endured a manic episode which caused intense feelings of elation, aggression, impulsivity, as well as increased energy levels, due to his meeting Juliet, and Tybalt killing Mercutio.

The suffering Romeo had due to his manic depression has caused Romeo to end his life. When Romeo is told that Juliet’s “ body sleeps in Capels' monument,…”, this pushes Romeo to end his life. This causes Romeo to plan out his suicide, by ordering poison from an apothecary, and write a suicide note. Additionally, it triggers a depressive episode, in which he displays a feeling of worthlessness, and severe dejection and despondency. Romeo’s suicide caused by these depressed feeling is also displayed when he says, “Here, here will I remain With worms that are thy chambermaids. Oh, here Will I set up my everlasting rest, And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars From this world-wearied flesh.” (Shakespeare 268). This shows Romeo suffering from thoughts of suicide, and feelings of unbearable emotional pain. Also, this shows Romeo’s intense feelings of despair after hearing Juliet has died, which causes him to kill himself soon after. To close, Romeo became suicidal and subsequently killed himself due to the pain he endured from his manic depression.

Some may argue that Romeo does not suffer from manic depression. This is because they believe that Romeo’s mood swings, depression, and manic tendencies are due to his teenage brain development. Additionally, they believe that he is experiencing these hormonal shifts “…due to the chemical changes occurring inside their brains.” (Morin). However, this argument fails to recognize that Romeo has suffered multiple symptoms of manic and depressive episodes, by displaying extreme feelings of despair, lust, aggressiveness, elation, and depression. Also, he killed someone and suggests that he and Juliet should get married within hours of meeting her, which also disproves this claim. This claim that Romeo is utterly preposterous, since he has shown several symptoms of a brain disorder that caused “…periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). (NIMH). These emotional highs and lows also led to him committing suicide, which also disproves this opposing argument. This also shows he has a split personality since these are two distinctive personality states that he exhibits. To close, Romeo does suffer from manic depression, and this can be shown in his intense mood swings, and split-personality.

In conclusion, Romeo does suffer from manic depression, which would cause extreme mood swings, and would push him to commit suicide, because of experiences in his life. Due to his manic depression, which was caused by his experiences with others, Romeo suffered from manic and depressive episodes, which would lead to his death. Because of the traumatizing experiences he underwent amongst the warring Capulets and Montagues, Romeo felt like had to escape, which would drive him to kill himself.    

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