Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy written early on in, playwright, William Shakespeare's career. The story is set in the city of Verona in 1303, it is about two young 'Star-cross'd' lovers whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and is one of his most frequently performed. Today, the main characters, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are regarded as archetypal young lovers.
The Story of Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy because by the end, both adolescents are dead. The play contains the 3 things needed to create tragedy, tragic flaw (when one of the main characters has a flawed personality which leads to the tragedy), hamartia (when one of the main characters makes a decision despite not knowing what the consequences will be) and last but certainly not least, fate.
There are many themes which run throughout the play of Romeo and Juliet. One of the play’s most consistent visual motifs is the contrast between light and dark. "Go ask his name: if he be married. My grave is like to be my wedding bed." (Juliet to Nurse lines 134 & 135) Juliet says this to the nurse at the end of Act 1 Scene 5. In the days of Romeo and Juliet marriage was de rigeur, decent people didn't have affairs and the only way a couple could fully express their love for each other was if they were married. Juliet wants to find out whether or not Romeo is married, she has already decided that she cannot live without him and therefore would die if he was to be espoused. This contrast, often in terms of night/day imagery, is not given a particular metaphoric meaning- light is not always good, and dark is not always evil. On the contrary, light and dark are generally used to provide a sensory contrast and to hint at opposed alternatives.
Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story in the English literary tradition. So love is naturally the play’s dominant and most important theme. The play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. It would seem that Shakespeare's vision of love, as shown through the main characters, is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions. I think that he is trying to tell us that the outcome of a love affair isn't solely dependant on the two lovers involved. People and circumstances surrounding the paramores are constantly influencing the path of their love. He is pointing out the harsh reality of life, love doesnt always have the desired happy ending.
In the course of the play, the young lovers are driven to defy their entire social world: families (“Deny thy father and refuse thy name,” Juliet asks, “Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet”), friends (Romeo abandons Mercutio and Benvolio after the feast in order to go to Juliet’s garden), and ruler (Romeo returns to Verona for Juliet’s...