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Examination Questions on Romeo and Juliet

Question: Why has Shakespeare introduced Romeo in love with Rosaline, and again, in II. 3, directed the attention of the spectator to that fact?

Answer: I. To reveal more clearly and forcefully Romeo's emotional condition at the beginning of the play. He was not really in love with Rosaline (cf. II. 3. 81-88). His condition was similar to that of Portia (cf. Merchant of Venice I. 2). He was love-sick. He was therefore in a fit emotional condition to fall in love when he met one who was worthy of his love, who evoked his love, who reciprocated it. The ground was ready to receive the seed. II. To contrast his unreal and superficial feeling for Rosaline with his real and overmastering love for Juliet. When he meets Juliet his love for her is immediate, spontaneous, all-absorbing. III. To contrast Rosaline with Juliet.

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How to cite this article:
Fleming, William H. How to Study Shakespeare. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1898. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


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