First, society’s absurd focus on honor and disgrace is culpable for the continuation of the Capulet and Montague families’ “ancient grudge”, which forces Romeo and Juliet to sneak around this to be together, following a precarious plan that ends in their deaths. (Prologue 3) Society’s unreasonable obsession with dignity threatens to disgrace either foe who steps down as cowardly and gutless, so that the two families, who cannot even remember the reason of their inane feud, are burdened to continue fighting or face absolute social humiliation. If this fixation was eradicated, the two foes would have made peace years before, and most importantly, Romeo and Juliet’s lives would be spared, since their families’ harmony would render their risky plan unnecessary. Is the senseless death of innocent young people worth ephemeral glory? Society obviously thinks so, and plants these toxic doctrines into its people’s minds, creating a vicious cycle of unnecess...
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...ay, and eventually senselessly ends in the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt, and Romeo and Juliet. Society’s lack of laws helping the apothecary leads to his destitution, which in turn leads him to agree to sell Romeo poison because the apothecary needed the money desperately, which then led to Romeo’s death by poison and Juliet’s suicide by stabbing when she saw him dead. Society also labels the characters with specific roles, Friar Lawrence with “peacemaker” and Lord and Lady Capulet with “patriarch” and “wife”, respectively, and forces them to follow or face losing their reputations. The true killer of Romeo and Juliet is the root of all complications and motives for the character’s decisions. Trace back a line of reason from any character’s judgment or action. Society is the root.
William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
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