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Claire Shaw

March 24, 2007


Sbani B5
Impulsiveness
Have you ever done something on an impulse and regretted it almost

immediately? In his play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare shows that impulsive

only triggers obstacles. Tybalt’s passion and impulse to fight Romeo caused his own

death as well as Paris’s impulse to attack Romeo in the crypt led to Romeo killing him.

Also, Romeo’s hastiness in his decision to kill himself ended tragically; instead of

waiting to find out more about Juliet's condition, he died in vain.

Because of his passionate hatred for all things Montague, Tybalt challenged

Romeo to a duel and because Romeo refused, his best friend Mercutio fought Tybalt and

was killed. To avenge Mercutio’s death, Romeo fought Tybalt and killed him. Almost as

soon as Tybalt enters the first scene, he starts a fight, saying, “What, drawn, and talk of

peace! I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee: Have at thee, coward!”

(Act. I, Sc. 1, li.68-70). Tybalt’s rash thinking and inability to think before acting initiated

two deaths.

After Juliet’s supposed death, Paris goes into her tomb to grieve for her. While

he’s there, Romeo enters the crypt. Paris assumes Romeo is there to desecrate Tybalt and

Juliet’s remains and confronts him. “Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague! Can

vengeance be pursued further than death? Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee. Obey

and go with me, for thou must die,” (Act. V, Sc. 3, li.56-59), cried Paris before he

attacked Romeo. Paris and Romeo then exchange blows briefly until Romeo kills Paris.

Ultimately, Romeo’s rash decision to take his own life before waiting to learn

more about Juliet’s demise becomes pointless. If he had waited a few minutes before
drinking the poison or contacted Friar Laurence, he would have discovered that Juliet was

never actually dead. “Here's to my love. O true apothecary. Thy drugs are quick. Thus

with a kiss I die,” (Act V, Sc. 3, li. 124-126), said Romeo, as he drank the toxic liquid

from the apothecary.

Overall, Romeo and Juliet proves that impetuosity only creates problems. Tybalt

and Paris foolhardily challenge Romeo and cause their own deaths. Romeo’s haste also

leads to his death. If they had taken a mere moment to rethink their actions, three—or

four if you include Mercutio—lives would have been saved.

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