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Alexandra Antonucci Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

True Love?
Everybody and their brother in civilized society have heard of William Shakespeare and his most famous plays mainly Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare has written everything from comedies to tragedies to romances. And Romeo and Juliet is one exquisite example of a play that highlights Shakespeare magnificent talent of hiding things in plain sight. The question is, is Romeo and Juliet a true love story or not? After extensive examination the answer is clear; no this legendary play is in fact not a love story. Several factors contribute to this conclusion such as the young ages of the main characters, and the fact that all teenagers eventually rebel against their parents, and the fact ...view middle of the document...

Romeo and Juliet is not a romance, it is a tragedy. To be considered a tragedy a play consists of certain characteristics, and to be a romance it would contain a very different set of characteristics. To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy more than a romance here are a few traits of a tragedy “Characters become isolated or there is a social breakdown, ends in death, there is a sense that events are inevitable or inescapable, there is usually a central character flaw that leads them to the eventual downfall,” (“The Main Characteristics…” para 5) all of these can be found in the text of Romeo and Juliet. It is an understandable conclusion to assume that the tale is a romance; after all, most people would love to believe in love at first sight. This just proves that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy and in many people’s opinions a tragedy cannot be a pure romance. The characteristics of a romance are “A hero and a heroine to fall in love, a problem that creates conflict and tension between them and threatens to keep them apart, a developing love that is so special it comes about only once in a lifetime, a resolution in which the problem is solved and the couple is united” (Michaels Leigh para 4) these are the basic elements that make up a romance story and can be found in all stereotypical chick-flick romance movies or novels. In Romeo and Juliet only two out of the four elements are present. All people can make their own opinions about the story be it a love story, or a tragedy, but many would agree that this tale leans more towards a tragedy than a romance.
Another reason to believe that Romeo and Juliet is not a love story is that it shows an aspect of pure teenage rebellion, this is just as prominent as any romantic qualities it has. In act two of Romeo and Juliet, the balcony scene, Juliet speaks wistfully to herself about Romeo and asks him to “deny thy father and refuse thy name” (II ii 34) this demonstrates the epitome of rebellion. During this monologue Juliet is basically asking Romeo to be a man; to go against his parents and family and deny everything he was meant to be all in the name of love. By refusing his name Romeo would turn his back on all he knows, his inheritance, his life. However, because this is exactly what his parents...

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