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Romeo and Juliet Revision

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What part do dreams, visions and premonitions play in Romeo and Juliet?

In Romeo and Juliet, dreams, visions and premonitions play a very important role. They foreshadow the eventual tragedy, tell us about a character’s view over a particular matter, and reflect underlying messages in the play. They are symbols, telling us about the various themes in the play as well.

An example of a dream foreshadowing the eventual tragic ending of the play is found in Act 1 Scene 4, in which Romeo says that he “dreamt a dream tonight” to his friends Mercutio and Benvolio, while heading to Capulet’s feast. His dream is ominous, and he is fearful of whether his dream will come true, saying that he fears the “vile forfeit of untimely death”. This
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Even when his servant (?), Balthasar advised him to be patient and wait for more news to confirm as to whether Juliet had really died, saying, “[his] looks are pale and wild”, Romeo disregards it and does not heed his advice. He goes on to buy poison from an apothecary, and upon seeing Juliet “dead” in the tomb, does not think twice and kills himself. These show Romeo’s immaturity, as he could have reasoned more, and not commit suicide over thinking that his love was dead, which is unnecessary and based on impulse.

However, Romeo also shows some evidence of him being more reasonable and more mature. In Act 5 Scene 2, when being confronted by Paris outside Juliet’s tomb, Romeo attempts to reason with Paris. He tells Paris to “tempt not a desperate man/…a madman’s mercy bid thee run away”, knowing full well that he has lost nearly all his sense of control following Juliet’s “death” and that he is going to act on impulse. Despite Romeo’s efforts, it can be said that it is a pathetic attempt, as Romeo, after Paris refused to listen to Romeo’s words of caution, killed Paris based on impulse, showing still his immaturity, even up till the end of the play.

As seen, Romeo has, throughout the whole course of the play, demonstrated his impulsive and immature nature. Romeo, though he has matured only slightly with Juliet, still makes childish choices and decisions, and lets his emotions get the
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