Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as a Tragedy
"Romeo and Juliet" is the most famous love story in the English
literary tradition. The play focuses on romantic love, specifically
the intense passion that arises at first sight between Romeo and
Juliet. The play covers a very short time span of three days, in which
Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love, marry and die. The "story ofâ€¦woe"
is inevitable from the moment the Prologue addresses the audience from
At the beginning of Act Two Scene Two Romeo, having met Juliet at the
ball, finds himself in Capulet's orchard and sees Juliet at her
window. He compares her to the sun "Arise, fair sun, and kill the
envious moon." She speaks, not knowing he is there, and expresses her
love for him, "be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet."
In the course of the play, the young lovers are driven to defy their
entire social world. An example of this appears in this scene with the
defiance of their families,
"Deny thy father and refuse thy name," Juliet proclaims, "Or if thou
wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a
Capulet."Another example of this is when Romeo abandons Mercutio and
Benvolio at the end of the previous scene in order to go to the
Capulet's orchard. Romeo also defies his ruler when he returns to
Veronafor Juliet's sake after being exiled by the Prince on pain of
death in Act Three Scene One.
After hearing Juliet's declaration Romeo steps from the shadows and
declares his love for her. He will do anything for her love. Juliet
fears that her family will discover and bring harm upon him. She asks
that he pledge his love to her again. She admits that she is smitten
with him, perhaps more than is proper, but she vows that she will
prove herself to be as serious as she hopes he is. They exchange vows
of love until the Nurse interrupts them, calling for her charge.
Juliet exits briefly but quickly returns to Romeo. The Nurse instantly
begins to shout for her again so the lovers quickly make plans to
marry. They part at the break of dawn, expressing their longing for
the moment when they can next be together. To Juliet it feels like
tomorrow is a lot further away than a matter of hours, "'tis twenty
years till then."
Although the love between the two youths is clearly very strong in
this scene I feel that the outcome is already predetermined as the gap
between their families is so vast and the hatred for one another's
families has been building up for so long that ill-fated and tragic
actions are sure to happen. We as the audience know this is not going
to be a simple romantic relationship as there are many complications
which will take an important role.
Act Five Scene Three, the final scene, is set in the churchyard where
the mausoleum of the Capulet family is found. Here, Paris...