Romeo and Juliet Research Paper

“Healthy communication and effective discipline are what a teenager needs to help navigate this important time, especially since the brain is not yet necessarily ready or able to face all of the inevitable challenges, without support” (Wolner). Without appropriate communication and proper, constructive support it is quite easy for teenagers to get off of the ‘right path’ so to speak. At this time in their lives, the brain is still developing and still building the important parts of the brain, specifically the critical decision-making sections of the brain. These sections of the brain are known as the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobe, until the age of 25 the brain is developing and therefore is unable to correctly process key information needed to make the day to day decisions needed to be responsible adults. Raging hormones, impulsivity, and often times a lack of proper interference are all a part of growing up but in extreme proportions can lead to extreme actions.

All of these components combined with the stress of the times and the raging hormones that teenagers experience all lead to and ultimately caused Romeo and Juliet’s suicide. In the end, Romeo committed suicide because he thought that Juliet was already dead and this shows impulsivity, but he showed it earlier in the play as well. The first instance of this was in Act I when Romeo first meets Juliet. Up until this point he had been head over heels for Rosaline but, suddenly he meets Juliet. A revelation! He meets Juliet and it as if his entire world has been flipped upside down. He meets Juliet at a party and within seconds is completely infatuated with her, they speak barely seven lines before kissing for the first time, which was a much bigger deal in that period.

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They don’t even know each other at this point and Romeo has absolutely no clue that she is a Capulet (Crowther). This shows impulsivity not only in how quickly he changed who he loved from Rosaline to Juliet but also in how quickly he decided that he was ‘in love’ with her. He never discovered who she was before falling for her and if he would have he might have never pursued her. She was beautiful and he was attracted to her, that all it was. If he would have taken the time out of his day to figure out who she was he would have realized how foolish an endeavor it was. Instead, he just jumped straight into it and caused an entire debacle that could have been entirely avoided.

Another instance of impulsivity was in Act V. The friar’s man was never able to reach Romeo and inform him that Juliet was indeed still alive and waiting for him, he was never informed of the plan. Instead, another messenger got to him first, alerting him to Juliet’s death and after hearing this Romeo headed straight to the local apothecary. He went in hopes of finding a vial of poison or something likewise to kill himself with. After buying the poison he headed straight to the crypt where he stumbles upon Paris, after exchanging a few brief words Romeo in his emotional and distraught state kills Paris (Hylton). This shows impulsivity because Romeo did not think his actions through in any way, there was no prior thought or planning, no rationality.

This not only lead to his own death but the deaths of Paris and his beloved Juliet as well. If he would have thought things through or gone to see the frir before hand, he would have figured the situation out. If he had decided to use his brain for any planning or thought the entire situation would have turned out vastly different. All throughout the play Juliet’s parents were very distant, her mother was unable to speak to her and her father didn’t view her as much more than a pawn to do with as he pleased. The only people Juliet was able to rely on were irresponsible adults that made decisions only based on their desires, not what was in the best interest for Juliet. She was only 14 years old and without the proper guidance needed from the key adult figures in her life it is easy to see why she as impulsive as she was throughout the play.

The first time in which Juliet showed impulsivity was in Act II during the famous ‘balcony scene’. Juliet is out on the balcony with Romeo and they are discussing their future and how they just want to date and be happy, nothing serious. Then, the nurse calls her inside presumably to tell her that her parents have been setting her up with Paris which immediately throws her into a panic. She runs directly back outside to Romeo and proposes, Romeo being as impulsive as he is, he says yes and they agree to get married (Florman). This shows impulsivity because of the complete and total lack of any prior thought and planning. Juliet was going completely by what her emotions were telling her and because of this made some very rash decisions.

Up until this point she and Romeo had only been planning to date, there was no intention of taking their relationship any further than that for the time being. Juliet was completely impulsive, she didn’t think her decisions through or talk to anyone about was going on before proposing, she just jumped right into it and got herself into a situation that completely went out of control. The biggest occurrence of negative adult interference acting upon Juliet was in Act III, scene v directly after Romeo and Juliet’s first night ‘together’ as a married couple. Before she has even begun her day her father bursts into her room telling her that she is to marry Paris. Her father is expecting her to be overjoyed and extremely happy to be marrying such a fine man. So when she completely turns against him and freaks out he is understandably quite angry and confused.

Juliet refuses to marry Paris so her father brings her mother into the picture and Juliet clarifies herself by saying that she could never love something that she hated, but that she could appreciate something done with love. After refusing time and time again her father threatens to cast her out and let her live on the streets as a hermit or worse. She then turns to the nurse expecting some good advice but the nurse just tells her to forget all about Romeo and just marry Paris anyway. Up until this point Juliet had never realized what an idiot the nurse was and with this realization she sends the nurse away and runs to the friar’s place where she receives the vial of potion that ends up ruining everything (Quinn). This shows a monumental amount of negative adult interference because we know that Paris and her father had been discussing and negotiating over her marriage for quite a while before this ever occurred.

Because of the poor relationship they had they never spoke to each other about the negotiations, Juliet’s parents never informed her what they were planning to do. Therefore when Juliet did finally hear their plans she started the snowball effect that guides the rest of this tragedy. This also shows negative adult interference because of how the adults in her life reacted when she told them no. The nurse turned away from her, her father threatened to banish her, and her mother was basically indifferent. If these figures in her life had been there for her she might not have made the rash decisions she ended up making. Many times throughout the play Romeo and Juliet both showed impulsivity and were negatively affected by a lack of proper adult interference.

In almost every scene and act this manifested itself in some way with the most evident of these occurring in Acts I, II, III and V. A quote by Marty Wolner best explains how and why both of these teenagers thought their actions were justified and appropriate. “Healthy communication and effective discipline are what a teenager needs to help navigate this important time, especially since the brain is not yet necessarily ready or able to face all of the inevitable challenges, without support” (Wolner). As Wolner said in the quote above, the teenage brain is not able to make proper and responsible decisions without proper support. Romeo and Juliet both had a complete lack of support all throughout the play.

In Romeo’s case he relied on people such as the nurse and the friar who were unreliable and made decisions just as rash as his own. In Juliet’s case she looked up to the nurse and felt isolated because of the lack of connection between her and her parents. This lack of support for both of them ultimately lead to the impulsivity that is shown all throughout the play and is the main cause of their death in the dark tragedy.