Impulsive Behavior in Romeo and Juliet By: Shaunean Burnett Impulsive behavior is something people can do everyday which can affect them for the next few days or the rest of their life. Impulsive behavior can begin with a small action, and soon result in a huge catastrophe. Whenever acting without thinking about the consequences, you are acting impulsively. Many stories and plays have characters that act in this way and create the whole conflict of the story. A good example of this is the play Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. No one in this play display’s this character trait more than Romeo Montague.
Throughout the play, Romeo makes very hasty decisions, some of which result in unnecessary consequences. On one occasion, Romeo sneaks into the Capulet Masquerade Ball where he meets Juliet and quickly forgets about his first true love, Rosaline. Romeo spontaneously decides he has fallen in love all over again, which reflects on Romeo’s impulsive character. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! / For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night. ” (Shakespeare 52-53) Romeo’s unwise behavior also results in the death of Juliet’s cousin when his impulsive action to battle with Tybalt does not go as planned. Either thou or I, or both, must go with him. ” (Shakespeare 126) In just one scene, Romeo’s emotions overcome him and he is the cause of one death and his own banishment from Verona. “And for that offense/ Immediately we do exile him hence. ” (Shakespeare 183-184) Romeo’s spur-of-the-moment decisions take the lives of his friends (Mercutio), family (Lady Montague), those he hate (Paris) and also his own. “Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet; / and she, there dead, that Romeo’s faithful wife. (Shakespeare 231-232) We can definitely come to the conclusion that Romeo, himself is a great cause of this tragic story that causes many people grief and sorrow. By reading this story, it is obvious how destructive impulsive actions can be. We have noticed it can pull families apart, wreck friendships, and even cause death. Even though many of the characters contribute to the untimely death and unnecessary actions of the play; without Romeo’s decisions, the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet would not be the grasping and tragic play it is today. “For never was a story of more woe/ Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. ” (Shakespeare 309-310)