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Impulsive Behavior Through the Romeo and Juliets Love Story

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Impulsiveness causes one to make unsound decisions leading to traumatic endings for oneself and others. This is evident throughout the calamitous tale of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as many of the characters live come to an abrupt end. “Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast”. A critical statement made by the Friar Lawrence, one if Romeo would have followed, could have changed his life for the better. However, this statement is belittled as the Friar himself did not adhere to it. In the prologue of this play, it states, “A pair of star-crossed lovers takes their life”. It specifies Romeo and Juliet to be ill-fated; despite this, it will be easy to perceive that fate really is not the source of their death. 

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In Romeo and Juliet, impulsive behavior is determined by one's emotional state, which causes irrational decision making, leading to personal struggle as seen through the characters of Romeo, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence. One of the main protagonists of this story and the one who acts most impulsively is Romeo. 

Throughout the commencement of the novel, Romeo is shown to be under a depressed state due to the love of his life, Rosaline, rejecting him. Primitively Romeo went to Capulets’ party to see his “love” Rosaline, but instead becomes infatuated with Juliet and hastily forgets about Rosaline and his long-lasting sorrow. “ If I profane with my unworthiest hand-this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,- my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand-to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss”. Romeo makes the impulsive decision to start flirting with Juliet not even knowing who she is and solely basing his decision on her beauty and his love. Once he finds out who she is he states, “ Is she a Capulet?, O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt”. He now realizes that she is a Capulet and that he made a big mistake as he now loves her and there is nothing that can change that even if his life is in the hand of his enemies. This is a clear example of Romeo’s impulsiveness as he came to an immediate decision and his irrational behavior results in his and Juliet’s struggle. Mercutio, one of Romeo’s best friends, also makes impulsive decisions which eventually costs him his life. Mercutio and Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, start fighting each other in the streets of Verona even when the prince made a rule, clearly banned them from doing so. Once Romeo came Tybalt stops fighting and says“Well, peace be with you, sir, here comes my man”. This is due to the fact of Romeo being the one he was actually looking for to duel. 

However, Romeo refuses as they are now related, Mercutio unaware of this becomes enraged. He continues by saying “O calm, dishonorable, vile submission!”  this is because Mercutio is only concerned about his honor and Romeo had just brought shame and disgrace onto himself and his friends. To try to amend this Mercutio makes the impulsive decision for himself to fight Tybalt, risking his own life. Once Mercutio is slain Romeo becomes enraged as he has just lost his best friend, not thinking about the consequences he kills Tybalt. The outcome of this is Romeo’s banishment from Verona which causes him and Juliet a great deal of personal struggle. This is clear when Romeo explains to the Fryer “’Tis torture, and not mercy” this is because he has to be alive knowing he can never see Juliet again. Impulsive behavior made by Mercutio caused Romeo to act impulsively resulting in the struggle of both of them. 

Finally, Friar Lawrence who is supposed to be a wise and religious man ends up making the worst decisions causing the destructive ending to the play. Formerly, the friar was approached by Romeo when he was depressed and grieving over Rosaline but later his role became more significant. When Romeo comes to the friar begging him to wed him and Juliet the friar agrees but the fryer also says “For this alliance may so happy prove / To turn your households' rancour to pure love”. As a friar, he should be following his job and marrying the two if he senses love and a happy marriage, but instead, he marries them so their families stop fighting. He makes this decision impulsively without pondering about the possible consequences. Another decision made by Lawrence was to send Romeo to Mantua without planning on what to do next as he planned the death of Juliet later. If he had not done this and instead kept him in his cell Romeo would have gotten the letter and Romeo and Juliet wouldn't end up dying. Friar Lawrence one of the most important characters,mad some impulsive/ irrational decisions which shaped this play and ultimately caused the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. 

In conclusion, Romeo and Juliets love by William Shakespeare illustrate impulsiveness and decisions made in haste to be a destructive habit usually resulting in personal struggle and traumatic situations. Firstly, Romeo’s impulsiveness and love cause him to meet Juliet in the first place. Next, Mercutio’s irrational decisions mixed with his pride/ego costs him his life and the banishment of Romeo. Lastly, Friar Lawrence and his unwise choices along with the pressure from Romeo caused the sudden death of many. It is now evident that fate is not what brought Romeo and Juliet to this point its human foolishness and impulsiveness, ultimately causing the most personal struggle by killing themselves.    

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