Throughout time, death has been viewed in a negative light. In general, it is an event to be mourned and is seen by some as the end to existence. People do not usually seek death as an answer to their problems. In various pieces of literature, however, suicide is contemplated by the characters as the only solution to the pain and grief that they experience.
The National Library of Medicine’s website states that most people who commit suicide do so because they are “trying to get away from a life situation that seems impossible to deal with” (“Suicide”). This idea is prevalent in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The main characters, Romeo and Juliet, fall deeply in love at their first meeting. Unfortunately, it is not meant to be, due to the fact that they are from feuding families. They disregard the feud, however, and secretly marry just two days after meeting one another. After the wedding, Romeo runs into Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, who hates him. They engage in a duel and Romeo kills Tybalt. He flees the scene of the crime. Later, he discovers from Friar Lawrence that rather than executing him for murder, the Prince of Verona has declared that he be banished forever. Instead of being relieved and grateful, Romeo laments his fate and claims that he would rather be dead than be separated from his dear Juliet. “There is no world without Verona walls but purgatory, torture, and hell itself” (3.3.17-18).
The two lovers spend their wedding night together. The next day, Romeo leaves for Mantua to begin his banishment. Juliet discovers that her father has arranged a marriage for her and the ceremony will take place in three days. She runs to Friar Lawrence for help. She is desperate to find any wa...
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...ion to be sought after.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Vol. 1. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1996. 59- 124. Print.
Hatch, Ronald B. "Heathcliff's 'Queer End' and Schopenhauer's Denial of the Will." Journal of English Studies in Canada 1.1 (1974): 49-64. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Ryn, Zdzislaw. "Suicide and Threatening Behavior." Suicides in Nazi Concentration Camps. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 31 Dec. 2010. Web. 1 May 2014.
Shakespeare, William, and Burton Raffel. Romeo and Juliet. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. Print.
"Suicide and Suicidal Behaviors." Suicide :Medline Plus. Ed. David Zieve. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. Vol. 1. New York City: Hill and Wang, 2006. 33-86. 1 vols. Print.
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