In Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo’s character can be divided into two parts. At the outset he is plagued with the unrequited love of Rosaline, and then after meeting his new love, he enjoys a reciprocated relationship with Juliet.
Romeo seems infatuated with Rosaline and stubbornly dotes on her, which leads me to reason that she is his first experience with falling in love. He complains in a kind of his own sexual frustration that, “In strong proof of chastity well-armed/From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharmed.” His advances on her just don’t seem to be quite cutting it.
He then goes on to say how even though him and Rosaline aren’t seeing each other anymore, and therefore not within eyes’ reach, she still captures his desires, “Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still/Should without eyes see pathways to his will!” Romeo is completely consumed by his first go at love and not in a good way.
His close friends Mercutio and Benvolio chide him for being so stubborn, yet he still asserts to Benvolio, “Thou canst not teach me to forget.” Benvolio tries to convince Romeo to go to a house party and gives some useful advice on Rosaline: “She shall scant show well that now seems best.” Romeo relents and ends up going.
Both Rosaline and Juliet are invited to this party, yet once he lays eyes on Juliet, Rosaline disappears in his thoughts like yesterday’s news. He courts Juliet, and when she obliges him, he makes up his mind to have her.
He then learns they are of two warring families; the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. Although that causes him unrest, it by no means dissuades him from his pursuit of Juliet. He knows exactly what he wants.
Romeo goes from a man of musing and melancholy to a man of action. He desires a life with Juliet coupled with her hand in marriage, and he is willing to jump through hoops to get it. He is ecstatic, determined, and smitten, and luckily so is she.
No longer is he the droopy, complaining boy we once knew. Even considering his inherent conflict between their families, he seems to be the happiest man in the universe. He acknowledges his fear yet doesn’t let it hinder his new-found joy. Romeo, through love, is transformed into a happy man.