What Makes "Romeo And Juliet" A Tragedy And Who Or What Is Responsible For It?

6864 words - 27 pages

"Romeo and Juliet" is one of Shakespeare's most famous and classical tragic plays where two young lovers are destined to be together but their families bitter hatred towards one another force them apart. They soon realize that one cannot live without the other and would rather be dead than live apart; so they end up committing suicide under tragic circumstances. Shakespeare wrote the play in 1959 and it was set in Italy.To understand the extent of tragedy in this play, the social and historical context of the play and other factors that may have contributed to the tragedy of the play, are very important. Most people see tragedy as a sudden unfortunate event, which leaves people sad, upset and possibly grieving. In a Shakespeare play tragedy is brought to the audience very differently. The definition of tragedy would be a disastrous event or calamity in which destructive circumstances result in the deaths of the main characters in question. The audience in Shakespeare's play is made to feel fear, pity, emotion and a sense of a waste and loss of life. Shakespeare delivers this play's tragedy through many factors most of which are brought by fate and inevitability and others from those who took part in the events which lead to the end of Romeo and Juliet. His use of language, themes, imagery, motifs and symbols also have a profound effect on how he builds up the tragic circumstances in the play.Shakespeare enhanced tragedy in this play by the loss of Romeo and Juliet's intense and passionate love affair. "O, speak again bright angel, for thou are as glorious to this night being over my head, as a winged messenger of heaven." (Act 2, Scene 2) These are the words of Romeo as he stands outside of his beloved Juliet's bedroom. Having fallen in love at first sight, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet set the stage for the greatest love story in history. Romeo and Juliet are attracted to each other; she by Romeo's words, and he by Juliet's beauty. It has been said that boys fall in love with their eyes and girls primarily with their ears. This romantic, but tragic story points out in many ways that this idea is realistic and holds true to this day.Love being the most dominant theme of the play, has a part to play in the intensity of the tragic events. However, Shakespeare preferred to portray love in a different style in contrast to the dainty version of the prettied emotion, as he chose the route of a brutal, powerful emotion that captures individuals and catapults them against their world, and, at times, against themselves. The love Romeo and Juliet share is blinding and the nature of it is empowering and almost violent in the sense that both people in question are prepared to overthrow all values, loyalties and emotion, even going further as defying their own names as Juliet famously exclaims in a rush of ecstasy, "Deny thy father and refuse thy name... And I'll no longer be a Capulet" (Act 2, Scene2). Romeo abandons his friends, Mercutio and Benvelio,...

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