Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare As A Tragedy

1437 words - 6 pages

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare as a Tragedy

"Romeo and Juliet" is considered by most people to be Shakespeare's
most tragic work. Two young people die for their love for each other -
what can be more purer, romantic and tragic than that. But is it as
simple as that? What does actually make the play so tragic? Before we
can discuss the tragic aspects of Romeo and Juliet, we must first
understand the meaning of the term 'tragedy'. The Chambers Dictionary
defines tragedy as" a type of drama dealing with tragic events and
often involving the fall of an honourable, worthy and important
protagonist, often with elevated action and language; a play of this
type; the art of such drama; any piece of literature, music, etc
ending with disaster for the protagonist; a disaster, any sad story or
turn of events; any event involving killing".

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy by the definition in the dictionary.
Both lead roles, Romeo and Juliet, die in the play, therefore making
it tragic. However there are many more factors which are typical of
Shakespeare' tragedies which occur, and some factors which make the
play less tragic. Juliet is a more tragic figure because she has no
real control over her life at all. The arrival of Romeo and their
subsequent love affair gives her an alternative to a life controlled
by her father and his choice of husband for her - she could run away
and live a romantic life with Romeo. At the end both Romeo and Paris
are dead so even if she survived there would be no future for Juliet.
Main characters in Shakespeare's plays are often quite innocent and
are swept along by other events happening at the time, for example the
feud between the two families led to the breakdown of communication
between the lovers resulting in their death.

The tragic events are foreshadowed throughout the course of the play.
The great tension between the two families is apparent to all. In Act
lll, Scene l, Benvolio says:

'I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire:

The day is hot, the Capels are abroad,

And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl,

For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.'

Romeo has a premonition in his sleep..."I dreamt my lady came and
found me dead", he admits at the beginning of Act 5. Although the
dream continues with Juliet reviving him with a kiss, this dark dream
may mean that Romeo subconsciously knew that his relationship with
Juliet would lead to an unhappy end.

There is another element that has a big part in the play - fate. Both
main characters are in the wrong place at the wrong time and were
never meant to be together. Shakespeare, through the narrator, calls
them 'Star-crossed lovers' which suggests that they have no control
over their fate. Romeo is aware that he is unlucky and that fate is
against him as he says 'I...

Find Another Essay On Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare as a Tragedy

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

1194 words - 5 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet are described as a "pair of star-crossed lovers." Write about the way in which fate is shown to contribute to their tragedy. "Romeo and Juliet" would have been performed to an Elizabethan audience. The Elizabethan audience believed very strongly in "fate" and "fortune". They believed in the power of herbs, the sun and the stars. Herbs had to be picked at

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

950 words - 4 pages imprudent decisions of others are accountable for the death of Romeo and Juliet and, also, the infatuation and impulsiveness of both Romeo and Juliet are to blame for their independent deaths and as well as the deaths of each other. The decisions made by the citizens of Verona have a direct effect upon the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Their thoughtless decisions assist in the downfall of the couple. For example, when Juliet returns from seeing

"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare.

1128 words - 5 pages The Fate of Romeo and JulietThe disastrous death of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, was fated before their decisions could prevent their deaths. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, many hints and signs of foreshadowing were given to this tragedy that is fated in the stars. Shakespeare says throughout the book that Fate really controlled the destiny these two lovers face. Even the Prologue points out that their love is "death

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

1183 words - 5 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Shakespeare Never Lets His Audience Forget That the Play Ends In Tragedy At the time the play was written, in 1595, everyone believed very strongly in fate and the stars. London at the time was a walled city of about 200,000, with seven gates providing access to the city from the east, north and west. It was considered small and was criss-crossed by narrow little streets and

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

1768 words - 7 pages distinctly drab form of bird. Throughout his monologue, Romeo depicts himself as unworthy of Juliet, and hence elevates her to an almost angelic level, an idea supported by the many religious references made by Romeo in his conversation with Juliet later in the scene. Although it could be suggested that this is the typical exaggeration of a lover, it is more likely that Shakespeare meant for Romeo’s soliloquy to lend

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - 3192 words

3192 words - 13 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare ‘O brawling love, O loving hate’. This short quote from Shakespeare’s romantic, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ perfectly sums up what I believe the play to be about; both love and hate, entwined with one-another. Without love there would be no hate and without hate there would be no love. Each character is motivated by both at either separate or simultaneous times. To truly prove this

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

1158 words - 5 pages characters always think they are helping, but they end up leading Romeo and Juliet to their deaths. Friar Laurence, Balthasar, Paris, Benvolio and Mercutio all played a trusted role either as a friend, lover or religious leader in Romeo’s and Juliet’s lives. However, despite their best intentions tragedy befalls Romeo and Juliet. Benvolio and Mercutio are Romeo’s good friends. They have been with Romeo when he is at his best and worst. At

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

1190 words - 5 pages As one of the most complex characters in the play, Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio’s purpose is to act as a static catalyst for the death of most of the characters. Shakespeare uses Mercutio’s character cleverly as the kind of character that stays in the background, but influences the rest of the cast in the utmost amount. Mercutio’s light and occasionally sardonic humor at inapt times relieves the play from being a complete tragedy and allows the

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - 1374 words

1374 words - 5 pages Love at it’s finest Love at initial sight is a broadly debated belief. Some believe that true love that only has physical attraction without a deeper understanding of an individual doesn’t exist. Although, others argue that someone may be able to identify true love instantly. In fact, Shakespeare dedicates part of his play to this matter. In addition, he refers to Romeo and Juliet as "star-crossed lovers". To put it in another way, the two

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - 2148 words

2148 words - 9 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Shakespheres Romeo and Juliet has many facets. One of the most prominent is the theme of love. The play suggests that this love between the two main characters is all consuming and self focused and seems to ignore all realities of the real world. Youth is the season of love and is full of desires and hopes. With

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - 2492 words

2492 words - 10 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare In the opening scene of William Shakespeare's play, 'Romeo and Juliet' he introduces us to the Italian walled city of Verona in the north of Italy that is being ripped apart by two powerful noble families in a ancient feud. Such things were common in the days when Italy was ruled by independent city-states and principalities. Shakespeare does not specify an exact date and so

Similar Essays

The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare

1482 words - 6 pages The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare The reference to Romeo and Juliet as 'star crossed lovers' hints that Romeo and Juliet were meant to die together because it was their destiny. Therefore this is what fate had planned for their lives, as it was crossed through the stars (written in the stars). It suggests Romeo and Juliet were just a small part if a bigger picture and their love and death's

The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare

1118 words - 4 pages you chose to obey or disobey. In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet and her father believe the same things but he asks her to go against them anyways not completely knowing. Juliet says, “ I will not marry yet; and when I do , I swear it shall be to Romeo, whom you know I hate.” act 3 scene v, lines 122 - 123. In this it shows that juliet is saying no to her father because she believes that because she is now married in the eyes of the

Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare For A Modern Audience

2357 words - 9 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare for a Modern Audience Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' was written to be viewed by an audience via stage. But theatre productions have become less popular due to cinema, videos, DVD's and home theatre. It means that for a cheaper cost people can view productions of stories both in public and within their own homes. Theatres of today tend to be portrayed as an occasional

Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare 1821 Words

1821 words - 7 pages Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays and has been described as a romantic tragedy. I will be looking at the different types of love in the play and how the language and drama reflect these. The play opens with a Prologue from the Chorus who warn of the tragedy to come. “……….A pair of two star-cross’d lovers take their life:……. ” Romeo Montague