I recently finished teaching Romeo and Juliet to my freshmen classes. This is the first time in several years that I’ve read this play, and it instantly brought back one very big reaction: I hate Romeo. He’s a wimpy jerk. Though there could be many more, five examples from the text will suffice to make the case:
We first hear about Romeo when his friend and parents are talking about how worried they are about him. Romeo’s father says that the boy has been moping around all night, sighing and feeling sorry for himself, then locking himself in his room all day, with the windows blocked out:
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night:
where, I believe, he paints his fingernails black, listens to emo music, and sits in a corner cutting himself.