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Romeo, A Tragic Hero In Shakespeare´S Romeo And Juliet

789 words - 4 pages

Having captivated man for thousands of years, throughout numerous civilizations, tragedies give the audience an opportunity to identify with the main character, or tragic hero, and give them an opportunity to experience a full catharsis, which is the purging of emotions such as pity and fear and the figurative purification of the conscious. According to Aristotle, a basic tragic hero must be noble, have a definitive flaw that eventually causes their demise, and suffer a punishment that far exceeds their crime. Heroes such as these are very evident in the works of famous playwrights such as William Shakespeare. The tale, Romeo and Juliet, written by Shakespeare, follows the tragic story of two lovers; one of which who was, in some way or another, a tragic hero. Based on Aristotelian ideals, Romeo is considered a tragic hero because he was noble of both spirit and bloodlines, he possessed a dangerously tragic flaw, and, although his end was inevitable, he ultimately died with honor. With this said, even though a tragic hero’s existence is centered around unwarranted suffering and bad decisions, they must be admirable in some way - and in Romeo’s case, as with the typical tragic hero, this admirable trait was his high social ranking.

Born as the only son to Lord Montague - the head of one of Verona’s most esteemed families - Romeo held a rather high title in the eyes of Verona’s citizens and was fairly well-known. So well-known in fact that, even when he’d attended Lord Capulet’s feast uninvited, instead of being punished for his insolence, Capulet - enemy of the entire Montague family - spoke fondly of Romeo, and temporarily kept him out of trouble with the hot-headed Tybalt by commenting that “he bears him[self] like a portly gentleman, and, to say truth, Verona brags of him to be a virtuous and well-governed youth”. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 5) Furthermore, as a nice complement to his noble lineage, it is proven that, as seen in his first attempts to ‘whoo’ Juliet, Romeo possessed the utmost charm - a trait that contributed strongly to his overall appeal as a hero. It is also evident that, judging by his approach to various situations throughout the play, Romeo displayed a fairly noble attitude in addition to his...

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