The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet: Who Is To Blame For Their Deaths?


Length: 1446 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

William Shakespeare, a world-renowned playwright, poet, and actor, has been known for centuries all around the world for his great variety of brilliant, poetic, and creative plays written during the Elizabethan Era. Shakespeare’s plays have the reputation of being among the greatest in the English language and Western literature, traditionally divided into the genres of tragedy, history, and comedy, and comprising of various imaginative settings, plots, characters, and conflicts. They have been translated into every major living language, in addition to being continually performed all around the world. Many of Shakespeare’s plays give insight on human nature, astonishingly able to characterize every emotion, strength, and weakness possessed by human beings during the Elizabethan Era and even today. The most famous and critically acclaimed of Shakespeare's plays has to be Romeo and Juliet, a romantic tragedy concerning the fate of two young "star-crossed lovers" (Prologue, l. 6). The play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet and the deaths of the two characters because of their eternal love for each other. While there could be various reasons for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, it is obvious that both the two households and significantly Old Capulet play the greatest roles in the tragedy due to their ancient family feud and Capulet’s overwhelming authority over his daughter, Juliet.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a world of violence and generational conflict in which two young lovers fall in love and die because of that love. The story is rather extraordinary in that the normal problems faced by young lovers are here so very large. It is not simply that the families of Romeo and Juliet disapprove of the lovers’ affection for each other; rather, the Montagues and the Capulets are on opposite sides in a blood feud and are trying to kill each other on the streets of Verona. Every time a member of one of the two families dies in a fight, his relatives demand the blood of his killer.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet: Who Is To Blame For Their Deaths?." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=162721>.
Title Length Color Rating  
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Essay - The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is a love story that has been read for hundreds of years and is still studied today. The story is about a young boy and a young girl who are in love with each other but both of their lives end in tragedy. Many of the play’s character’s actions affect the outcome of the play, but no character can be put to blame of the outcome. The one thing that these events can be credited to is fate. Fate did many things in the play, such as caused Romeo and Juliet to meet and it caused Romeo to believe Juliet was dead....   [tags: fate, blame, love] 540 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Romeo and Juliet: Who is to Blame? Essay - Many have said that romance brings love and affection, but when taken to the extreme, it can lead to tragedy and despair. Among the great literary tragedies, Romeo and Juliet may be the most famous of them all. The eternal feud between the Montegues and Capulets prohibits the love of Romeo and Juliet and ultimately results in their unfortunate deaths. It may be difficult to truly determine who is to blame for the tragedy, because their lives had been influenced, criticized, and controlled by many figures....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
581 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Romeo is More to Blame in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Essay - Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is about two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, forbidden to be together because of feuding families. Countless people contribute to Romeo and Juliet’s predestined fate and misadventures. This ultimately leads to Romeo and Juliet’s suicide. Who is more to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death. Although Juliet acts rashly, Romeo is more to blame. Furthermore, Romeo starts the whole tragedy. True, Juliet acts naïve, nonetheless Romeo acts hastily by encouraging the relationship....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
920 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Hasty Actions Kill Quickly in the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare - “It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; Too like the lightning, which cloth cease to be Ere on can say it lightens.” Says Juliet in the play written by Shakespeare “The Tradegy of Romeo and Juliet”.In Romeo and Juliet the death of the “star crossed lovers” could be blamed on Friar Lawrence and Romeo because of their rapidity and lack of common sense. Even though, Capulet forced Juliet to marry Paris, Friar Lawrence and Romeo should be blamed because they both acted with haste. Friar Lawrence should be blamed for the Tradegy of Romeo and Juliet because he acted to quickly....   [tags: blame, consequences, actions]
:: 1 Works Cited
520 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Who is to Blame in Romeo and Juliet? Essay - Who to Blame for the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet In this essay I will be discussing my opinion of who is to blame for the tragedy or both Romeo and Juliet. In my view I do not think that one certain character is solely responsible, I think that there is an array of people that could be proved responsible. Although I do think that there is one certain person that is most responsible for the deaths. That person is Friar Lawrence, but as well I blame the power of love; Romeo and Juliet were so strongly in love and that love lead to both of their deaths....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays] 1369 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Death of Romeo and Juliet and Who is to Blame Essay - The Death of Romeo and Juliet and Who is to Blame Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, in which a young boy and girl fall in love and commit suicide. They come from 2 different families which have a deadly feud against one another. Romeo goes to a masked ball at the Capulet's household where he falls in love with Juliet. He then proposes to her after the party in secret at Juliet's balcony. Romeo then arranges a secret weeding with Friar Lawrence and Juliet tells the Nurse....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays] 1363 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Extent the Nurse is to Blame in Romeo and Juliet Essay example - In Romeo and Juliet, to what extent is the Nurse to blame for the tragedy. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse, by her thoughtless support of the affair between the lovers and fickle counsel, is partly to blame for the tragedy. However, it is not one factor alone that brings about the death of Romeo and Juliet, but a combination of significant actions and underlying forces. In spite of this, is certain that the Nurse played a serious role in encouraging the lovers. relationship to blossom....   [tags: Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet] 634 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Essay - The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a play that contains much controversy around the issue ‘who is to blame for the deaths?’ In this world we are always so willing to place the blame with one person but in this play, when you look deeper into the language and meanings, it becomes clear that there are a variety of people, and indeed things, that can be blamed. In this essay I be will reporting on each person or thing that has affected the tragedy....   [tags: Free Romeo and Juliet Essays] 1087 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Blame for the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet Essay - The Blame for the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet Introduction Romeo and Juliet the ‘star crossed lovers’ seem to be doomed the first day they meet each other. The play concludes with Romeo and Juliet taking their lives just days after meeting. Shakespeare closely tangles the play so every character and event plays an important role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Families To begin, the most apparent factor in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is the ‘ancient grudge’ between the two families to which they belong: The Capulets and The Montague’s....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays] 981 words
(2.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death Essay examples - The Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death The story of Romeo and Juliet originally came from a myth around the old town of Verona, later on in history Shakespeare took this idea of 'two star-crossed lovers' and made it into the 'Romeo and Juliet' we know today. In Elizabethan Verona the story begins with two families, the Capulets, and the Montagues. The families have been feuding for many years, much to the dismay of the Prince of the town. The Capulet family has only one child, Juliet....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays] 1178 words
(3.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]



Because of the feud, if Romeo is discovered with Juliet by her family, he will be killed, as indicated during the balcony scene where Juliet says “If they do see thee, they will murder thee” (Act II, ii, l. 75). We are never told what the families are fighting about or fighting for; in this sense the feud is both causeless and goal-less. The long-standing hatred between the two families erupts into new violence and the two unlucky children of these enemy families become lovers and die due to their parents’ anger. The feud of the two families is illustrated in the Chorus’ first words:
Two households, both alike in dignity / (In fair Verona, where we lay our scene), / From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. / From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth their death bury their parent’s strife. / The fearful passage of their death-marked love / And the continuance of their parent’s rage, / Which their children’s end, naught could remove … (Prologue, l. 1-11).
The hostility between their families, coupled with the emphasis placed on loyalty and honor to kin, combine to create an intense conflict for Romeo and Juliet, who must rebel against their families. If this feud had not existed in the first place, there would be no cause for Romeo and Juliet to hide their love for each other from their families. They wouldn’t have needed to have a secret wedding, Romeo wouldn’t have killed Tybalt and gotten exiled, Capulet wouldn’t have forced Juliet to marry Paris, and all the conflicts and plot advancements in the play wouldn’t have existed. Most importantly, if the feud had not existed in the first place, Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t have died. Romeo and Juliet’s deaths can be seen as the ultimate privacy where they could love each other and be together in the afterlife, without worrying about the thoughts and objections of their families. All the other conflicts and problems faced by the couple in the play are deeply rooted and weaved into the feud itself and therefore, wouldn’t have occurred if the feud had not existed.
Furthermore, in the Elizabethan Era, traditional culture distinguished sharply between the nature of identity for men and women. A woman’s identity was conceived almost exclusively in relation to male authority and martial status. A woman was a daughter, wife, or widow expected to be chaste, silent, and above all, obedient. The patriarchal power structure inherent in Renaissance families, in which the father controls the action of all other family members, particularly women, places Juliet in an extremely vulnerable position. Her heart, in her family’s mind, is not hers to give. The authority of the father over the daughter during the Elizabethan Era can clearly be understood when the audience is introduced to Old Capulet, the patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague. Though Old Capulet truly loves his daughter, he is not well acquainted with Juliet’s thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a “good” match with Paris. He commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking. In the play, Old Capulet demands Juliet to marry Paris. When Juliet refuses, her father becomes enraged and vows to put her out on the streets if she does not accept Paris as her husband saying “you will not wed, I’ll pardon you! / Graze where you will, you shall not house with me” (Act III, v, l. 199-200). To escape her planned wedding with Paris and to be with Romeo, she takes Friar Lawrence’s potion which sets off a series of events that lead to the couple’s eventual death. First, Romeo receives news of Juliet and kills himself to be with her. Then, Juliet wakes up and finds Romeo dead and commits suicide as well. If Old Capulet hadn’t threatened Juliet to marry Paris, then she wouldn’t have taken the potion and the couple wouldn’t have died at the end of the play. Because of his overwhelming authority over Juliet, she had no choice but to take the potion. Indeed, Juliet feels strong that she defies her father, but in that action she learns the limit of her power. Strong as she might be, Juliet is still a woman in a male-dominated world. One might think that Juliet should just take her father up on his offer to disown her and go to live with Romeo in Mantua. That is not an option. Juliet, as a woman, cannot leave society; and her father has the right to make her do as he wishes. Though defeated by her father, Juliet does not revert to being a little girl. She recognizes the limits of her power and, if another way cannot be found, determines to use it: for a woman in Verona who cannot control the direction of her life, suicide, the brute ability to live or not live that life, can represent the only means of asserting authority over the self.
Romeo and Juliet’s deaths are mostly due to the feud between the Capulets and Montagues and the power of Old Capulet over Juliet. Because of the feud, Romeo and Juliet had to hide their love and marriage from their families, which eventually led to their deaths at the end of the play in order to finally be together freely and without restraint. Because of Old Capulet’s authority over Juliet, she had no other choice other than to take the potion in order to be with Romeo. The taking of the potion itself, led to various proceedings which eventually led to the couple’s tragic deaths. It seems that society, love, violence and authority play the greatest roles in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. When you think of death, you usually think gloomy and depressing. Shakespeare is able to create an incredible play where death is seen as a symbol of love and freedom, where Romeo and Juliet die for their love and to escape the expectations and restrictions of their families. The beautiful but tragic story of Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s greatest and most celebrated works that will be forever known around the world as one of the best love stories of all time!

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992.


Return to 123HelpMe.com