Contrastingly, Rosaline and Romeo have a tendency to be pretentious and affected. As Kiernan Ryan notes, Romeo is “trapped inside the hackneyed role and ossified verse of the Petrarchan lover. His rhyming speech is paralysed by the dead weight of clichéd paradoxes and inert metaphors, exiled from actual experience and emotions” (Ryan, Shakespeare, 2nd ed: Prentice Hall, 1995). “She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, To merit bliss by making me despair. She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow Do I live dead that live to tell it now”). Such language traps both lover and loved in a “degrading charade of domination and subjection”. Romeo seems to search for a self elsewhere, “I have lost myself, I am not here.”
The leader of the dwarves who embark on the treasure quest in Chapter 2 , Thorin is in many ways a typical member of his race: brave, stubborn, proud, and greedy for gold. Though his birthright and noble bearing initially make Thorin seem like a fairly heroic figure, the dwarf’s status quickly declines as Bilbo ’s rises. Soon after Gandalf leaves the party, it becomes apparent that Thorin is not a true leader: he is incapable of formulating a plan, makes hasty and poor decisions, and generally relies on Bilbo to see him through his adventures, all the while treating Bilbo like an insignificant underling. Once Thorin gets his hands on Smaug’s treasure, he becomes irrationally greedy and obsessed with wealth, to the extent that he would rather wage a violent war than give the men from Lake Town their fair share of the treasure. Thorin is partially redeemed by his dying apology to Bilbo, but not even this act of remorse can fully redeem him. In general, the arrogant Thorin works as a foil for the unassuming Bilbo, setting off Bilbo’s best qualities and creating a leadership void that provides Bilbo the chance to seize the initiative and become a true hero.