Question: Why has Shakespeare introduced Romeo in love with Rosaline, and again, in II. 3, directed the attention of the spectator to that fact?
Answer:I. To reveal more clearly and forcefully
Romeo's emotional condition at the beginning of
the play. He was not really in love with Rosaline
(cf. II. 3. 81-88). His condition was similar to that
of Portia (cf. Merchant of Venice I. 2). He was
love-sick. He was therefore in a fit emotional condition to fall in love when he met one who was
worthy of his love, who evoked his love, who reciprocated it. The ground was ready to receive the
seed. II. To contrast his unreal and superficial feeling for Rosaline with his real and overmastering
love for Juliet. When he meets Juliet his love for her is immediate, spontaneous, all-absorbing. III. To contrast Rosaline with Juliet.
How to cite this article:
Fleming, William H. How to Study Shakespeare. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1898. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/romeo/questions/rosaline.html >.