A Sense of Tragedy in the Final Scene of Romeo and Juliet Essay

A Sense of Tragedy in the Final Scene of Romeo and Juliet Essay

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A Sense of Tragedy in the Final Scene of Romeo and Juliet

The Oxford English dictionary defines tragedy as

1) A play in which the main protagonist falls to disaster through the
combination of a personal failing and circumstances which they cannot

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy because both characters kill themselves
to show how much they love each other, even though that love is
forbidden. Romeo and Juliet is different from other plays of
Elizabethan times as Shakespeare made the play about a type of love
that is positive as opposed to the type of love shown in the revenge
tragedy plays of the era. Revenge tragedies include 'The Duchess of
Malfi' by Webster, 'The Spanish Tragedy' by Kyd and 'Tamberlaine' by

The genre revenge tragedy is based on murder and revenge. The murders
are normally depicted in excruciating detail. Themes of this genre
include social, political and religious interests of the Elizabethan

In addition to this, the theme of parental control and the rebellion
of their children to an extent can and did determine the ending as
both Romeo and Juliet betrayed their parents which was, in the
Elizabethan era, a major crime which was comparable to treason.

If Shakespeare had written the play in such a way that the main
characters lived "happily ever after", it would have been censored as
it goes against the natural order of time. At the start of the play,
there is stability as both the children obey their parents. When they
meet, the equilibrium is disrupted and they start to disobey their
parents and their beliefs by breaking the "ancient grudge" set by the
two families Montague ...

... middle of paper ...

...ier through the hurt caused by Romeo being
banished "Grief of my son's exile hath stopped her breath" This adds
sorrow to the final scene.

The Friar then proceeds to tell the families the entire story in a
direct way; there are no puns, just direct information and the truth
of the tragedy.

The prince speaks about the situation and initially calls it a
"misadventure" but changes his words to "foul murder" creating a sense
of fear towards the two families. He is quite unsympathetic at first,
considering both families had lost their only children. This increases
the sense of tragedy between the families. The tragedy is heightened
still as the families are still feuding at this point even though
their children have just committed suicide. The enraged prince
confirms this "see what a scourge is laid upon your hate!"

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