The Comedy and Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

The Comedy and Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

Length: 1109 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Comedy and Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare The Prologue includes phrases like 'death-marked love' and 'fatal
loins'. From this we might think that Romeo and Juliet is an
unrelenting tragedy. Yet the first Act has many humorous moments.
Consider the balance of tragedy and comedy in Act one, concluding
whether it is on the whole humorous of tragic.

As defined by Aristotle, 'tragedy evokes pity and fear in the
audience.' On the other hand, comedy evokes pleasure and laughter. Act
One is highly comical with absurd characters, and humorous language.
However from the outset, the audience is on notice that the play is a
tragedy, not least because the play begins with a dark and tragic
Prologue. The Prologue contains dark imagery such as 'civil blood
makes civil hands unclean,' and,'from ancient grudge break to new
mutiny'. It also describes a 'pair of star crossed lovers' who, 'with
their death bury their parents strife'. This creates dramatic irony
amongst the audience, in that however amusing the comic aspects in the
rest of the play, ultimately the audience knows that tragedy will
follow.

Act One develops in the following way.

In Act One, many comic events are established to the reader. Many of
these events are ironic to the audience. One example of this, is in
Scene 4, when a servant to Capulet, invites Romeo, a Montague, to a
major party at the Capulet's house,

"Now I'll ...


... middle of paper ...


...d they are shown to be brainless
and dim-witted.

On the other hand, not all the characters in Romeo and Juliet are
comic. It is highly tragic, for example, that the two, 'star-crossed
lovers,' are from separate feuding households. As well as this, it is
vastly tragic that the audience knows the fate of Juliet, as this
makes the character of Lord Capulet very tragic, as we know that
Juliet is his last hope.

From the beginning of the first act, it is hard to determine whether
or not Shakespeare meant the play to be a comedy of tragedy. However,
it is my belief that the play is a clear tragedy, not least because of
the language, characters and events, but because from the outset, it
has been pre-empted that the play was meant to be a tragedy, not least
because the play is entitled the 'Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare Essay

- William Shakespeare 's play, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, (Romeo and Juliet) includes two very rash, passionate characters who refuse to listen to the demands of their families. This ends with them paying the ultimate penalty, death. In Pamela Berkman’s story, “Duty”, there is a grieving mother who is not grieving as much as one usually would over the circumstances involving the death of their child. In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and "Duty" by Pamela Berkman, there are two main female roles that are progressively changing along with the plot and as they interact with other characters and are thus labeled as "complex characters"....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet]

Strong Essays
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Tragic Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare

- The dramatic tragedy, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, introduces two rival families with a relentless feud tracing far back in Verona’s history, the Montagues and the Capulets. The disturbance the hatred between the two generates is apparent from the start. A love is proclaimed and defiance against the enmity among their houses ensues when the adolescent children, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, meet. All culminating with the deaths of the two and a grieving Verona. Notoriously, the matter of who is to blame for the demise of the two young protagonists can be infinitely disputed and reasoned by experts, high school students or anyone with exposure to the play....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet]

Strong Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Tragic Tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare

- Fate is thought of as an unstoppable force that controls the outcome of people’s lives. This force is explored in story of Romeo and Juliet written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare. This tragic drama narrates the life of two rivaling families -Capulet and Montague- and their two children who fall in love. Throughout this play the unforgiving force of fate determines the couple 's future before their story even begins. This fate being their untimely death as “A pair of star-crossed lovers” (1.prologue.6) described by the prologue....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet]

Strong Essays
1297 words (3.7 pages)

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

- The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy mainly because of the downfall of the main characters through weakness or misfortune, which lead to their deaths but these flaws are not the only reasons for this tragedy, it is possible that their fate was “written in the stars” as there are many references made about these stars. Fate (the fact that life is already planned out and is out of human control) must be one of the key factors in causing the tragedy of the “star-crossed lovers” Romeo and Juliet....   [tags: Free Romeo and Juliet Essays]

Free Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

- ... After he kills Mercutio, Romeo says, “O, I am fortune’s fool!”(Act III, Scene i, Line 133) meaning that he was a fool for killing Tybalt and he knows that he will probably be killed also. Romeo doesn’t get killed but he gets banished. Friar then gives Juliet a drink that will make her seem dead to help reunite Romeo and Juliet. When the word gets out that Juliet is “dead”, Romeo hears, and even though he is banished, he comes back to Verona where he will kill himself to be with Juliet. This show how love goes beyond all boundaries of hardship and is everlasting because Romeo was willing to take his own life to be with the one he loved even though she was not dead....   [tags: human spirit, the power of love]

Free Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

The Tragedy in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Romeo and Juliet - The Tragedy The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a play written by the well-known author, William Shakespeare. The setting of the play is the 1400's in Verona, Italy. This is a play based on two families who have had an ancient grudge for many years, and their children who fall in love. What makes the story of Romeo and Juliet such a tragedy are the various decisions made by the characters of the play such as Romeo. Romeo made many decisions, some good, some bad; his decisions have a great effect towards other characters in the play and the outcome of the events in this dramatic play....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet Essays]

Free Essays
745 words (2.1 pages)

The Role of Fate in William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

- The Role of Fate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet 'Romeo and Juliet', the first romantic tragedy was based on a poem translated from the French 'Novella' (1595). Romeo Montague, who is in love with Rosaline, goes to a party in an attempt to take his mind off her. At this party he meets Juliet Capulet and immediately falls in love with her. Later he finds out that she is a Capulet, the rival family of the Montagues. He decides that he loves her in spite of this, and so does Juliet....   [tags: The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet]

Strong Essays
2368 words (6.8 pages)

Tragedy in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay example

- Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays of all time, and also one of the most tragic plays of all time. It is about two lovers who commit suicide when their families prevent them from being together. They lived in a very complicated society, where they couldn’t see each other or share their passion for each other. They both had bad luck, by falling in love with a person that was your families’ enemy. Finally, they have so much love for each other that they are willing to kill themselves for the other....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet]

Free Essays
665 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about The Tragedy of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

- Romeo and Juliet is a play by William Shakespeare. It takes place in Verona, Italy during the renaissance. The play is about two rich families during a long feud. Their children, Romeo and Juliet, fall in love and eventually take their own lives. Unable to marry each other in the open, they marry secretly. They only have a little time before things go wrong, and they are separated for eternity. As with many things it is difficult to lay the blame on one specific occurrence as even the slightest mishap, especially in the story, can amount to something far worse than ever expected....   [tags: Free Romeo and Juliet Essays]

Free Essays
1189 words (3.4 pages)

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

- The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare The tragedy of the deaths of Romeo and Juliet appears needless, as it was largely the people around them who were fighting and disagreeing about the relationship. Because they were so deeply in love with each other, they refused to be split up and consequently took risks to stay together which ultimately led to their deaths. Juliet is a juvenile Capulet not quite 14 years old; she is tender, faithful, obeys her parents and thinks for herself....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
915 words (2.6 pages)