the tragedy of romeo and juliet

character analysis

JULIET CAPULET: She is the thirteen year old daughter of the respected Capulet family of Verona. She had thought not of love, even when her parents offered her hand to Count Paris. However, she fell for Romeo Montague immediately and lavished her love upon him. Juliet is calm, devoted, and in control of her emotions, never letting her anger overcome her. She is self-effacing and honest. Her love is perhaps the most true; she loves with both her heart and her mind.

ROMEO MONTAGUE: He is perhaps the greatest contrast of characters: a charming and loving lad who is well respected in Verona even among his enemies, yet also a hot-tempered boy prone to anger and caprice. Romeo is one who practices courtly love; he is in love with the idea of being in love. Romeo is prone to extremes of emotion, as shown when he fights Tybalt and then later deals with his banishment.
She is a comic old woman who is very close to Juliet. She uses vulgar humor often, and is a woman who believes in living life to its fullest. She is a realistic person, urging Juliet to marry Paris after Romeo's banishment. She is extremely loquacious, loving to reminisce.

FRIAR LAURENCE: He is a holy man and Romeo's counsellor. He is a steadfast man who realizes Romeo's infatuation and attempts to deal with it. If the Nurse conjures images of life, Friar Laurence conjures images of death, as in his beginning scene with the flowers. He recognizes his part in the tragedy at the end.

MERCUTIO: He is another comic character, a sociable relative of Prince Escalus who is free to remain above the war between the Capulets and Montagues. Mercutio is, like the Nurse, a bit vulgar, but he is more essentially witty. He shows his bravery by fighting Tybalt in Romeo's place, yet dies unnecessarily because of the quarrel.

BENVOLIO: He is another Montague, a cousin to Romeo. He is a friend to Romeo like Mercutio, but does not have the incisive wit of Mercutio. He is genuinely concerned about Romeo's problems with Rosaline. Despite Benvolio's nature (note Latin translation of name) as a peacemaker, Mercutio describes him as hot-tempered.

TYBALT: He is the 'prince of cats,' a cousin to Juliet. He is hot tempered and easily angered, as shown in his first ordeal with Benvolio and his behavior at the Capulet's masquerade. Romeo kills Tybalt.

PRINCE ESCALUS: He is the ruler of Verona, a respected man who is angered at the behavior of the two feuding families. He punishes them heavily for their actions, yet is punished in the end when two of his relatives, Paris and Mercutio, are murdered during the fighting.

PARIS: He is a Count in Verona, a handsome man who is well esteemed. He loves Juliet deeply- perhaps even more truly than Romeo- yet she does not love him and balks at the idea of marrying him. He does make the mistake of assuming Juliet's love too soon. Romeo kills Paris.

CAPULET: He is an old gentleman who is well-mannered and sociable. Yet he is deeply involved in his hatred of the Montagues. He shows his unreasonable nature by chiding Juliet for refusing his wishes.

LADY CAPULET: She is a bit younger than her husband and less inclined to fits of emotion. She only wishes for Juliet to marry the Count, and like her husband, becomes upset with Juliet for refusing her wishes.

MONTAGUE: He is of similar age to Capulet and of similar mind. He shows a genuine concern for Romeo's despair over Rosaline's unrequited love.

LADY MONTAGUE: Wife to Montague.

FRIAR JOHN: He is sent to deliver the important letter to Romeo, yet fails in his mission.

BALTHASAR: He is Romeo's servant. He recognizes Romeo's irrational behavior.

PETER: He is a servant to the Capulets who accompanies the Nurse when she gives the message to Romeo.

ABRAHAM: He is another servant to the Montagues.

APOTHECARY: He is a weak, decrepit old man nearing death. He sells Romeo a vial of poison.

ROSALINE: She is the woman whom Romeo is first in love with. She has sworn to remain a virgin.

GREGORY and SAMPSON: They are servants to Capulet.