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Brandon Peck

Mr. Turley

English I

21 December 2017

Romeo’s Psychosis

Most people think of Romeo, from Romeo and Juliet, as a romantic man, but he could

possibly be psychotic. Psychosis is an illness in which wrong word and emotions are impaired to

the point of total disconnection from reality. Psychosis causes a person reality to augment and

makes people lose grasp of social normalities, the person will hallucinate, become transfixed on

certain objects or people, and have suicidal thoughts or actions. Romeo might have formed his

psychotic state by being in a constant state of stress due to . Elea Carey says “psychotic disorders

can be triggered by stress, drug or alcohol use, injury, or illness. They can also appear on their

own.” (Carey). Romeo unknowingly had psychosis, his overwhelming stress with his family feud

him over the edge.

Romeo’s stress levels caused him to come down with psychosis. Romeo had a brief form

of psychosis caused by a life changing event. As said by “Trauma and

stress can cause a short-term psychosis (less than a month's duration) known as brief psychotic

disorder.Major life-changing events such as the death of a family member or a natural disaster

have been known to stimulate brief psychotic disorder in patients with no prior history of mental

illness.”(free dictionary). His brief psychosis caused his actions to be altered in a radical way.

The way Romeo acted was out of the normality of society, he was put in a stressful situation that

happened at all at once, as soon as Mercutio was killed Romeo was banished for avenging

Mercutio’s death . There are multiple causes to his psychotic behavior.

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The reason Romeo has psychosis is because of his temporary life crisis, caused by his

family and extended families feud. Romeo had killed Tybalt and was banished from Verona, also

when learning this information he had a seemingly psychotic episode. “There is no world

without Verona walls But purgatory, torture, hell itself. Hence “banishèd” is banished from the

world, And world’s exile is death. Then “banishèd,” Is death mistermed. Calling death

“banishment,” Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden ax And smilest upon the stroke that

murders me.”(Shakespeare). Romeo is completely over reacting, he has suicidal thoughts

because he has to leave Verona. His reasoning is completely altered and distorted. His actions

strongly suggest psychosis, but not all bases are loaded.

Despite the evidence of Romeo’s psychosis, people may argue that not all crucial

symptoms are shown. Those who think because not all symptoms are shown do not understand

the importance of developing disorders. Disorders develop over time, and are shells of their true

potential at first. Over time the disorder slowly snowballs until a full outburst clear and distinct

symptoms. The reason Romeo does not show all signs of psychosis is because they haven't

developed yet or he just is not affected by them. He clearly reached his turning point when he

had killed himself because he found Juliet dead. His actions up until his suicide were suspicious

but his attempts of suicide were clear indications of psychosis.

Romeo has psychosis due to his irrational behavior, from his attempts of suicide and his

seemingly unnecessary killings. His psychotic behavior directly caused the death of Tybalt and

Paris. He left both the Montagues and Capulets devastated and in ruins. The purpose of bringing

up his illness is to bring to light the deadly effects psychosis has. Without interference psychosis

could cost lives of loved ones. When the life of others is on the line we should not hesitate to

find help for those with psychosis.

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“Psychosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors.” Healthline, Healthline Media,
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Marcia Purse | Reviewed by Steven Gans, MD. “Are You Experiencing Paranoia? What Should

You Do About It?” Verywell,