Tragic Flaws of Romeo and Juliet Essay

Tragic Flaws of Romeo and Juliet Essay

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Tragedy is a broad topic; there are many aspects of a tragedy. A tragedy includes events arousing the emotions of pity and fear. These emotions can define a tragedy and are evoked when watching the play or reading the drama. In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the two main characters, Romeo and Juliet, endure events that arouse pity and fear from the reader. An Aristotelian tragedy is a specific type of tragedy outlined by Aristotle. In this type of tragedy, a cause-and-effect chain takes place and the characters' fate is determined by their tragic flaw. There is no predestined fate; the character's fate is entirely in the their hands. A normal tragedy deals with fate being the factor that determines the events which take place in the drama. The characters have no control over the outcome in a normal tragedy. Whether a tragedy is Aristotelian or not is open to interpretation. Romeo and Juliet were brought to an Aristotelian ending because of their unfortunate tragic flaws and the evidence of tragic emotions/catharsis.
To begin, Romeo's tragic flaw is the over-exaggeration of his emotions. Romeo acts too emotional when dealing with large-scale issues. For instance, he overreacts when he learns of his banishment from Verona. He proceeds to cry hysterically on the floor in Friar Lawrence's cell. Romeo's emotions get the best of him and he ends up feeling hopeless. His emotions lead him to have a very negative outlook: “There is no world without Verona walls,/ But purgatory, torture, hell itself./ Hence banished is banish'd from the world” (III, iii,18-20). This quote shows Romeo's view of life outside of Verona. Romeo completely overreacts to his banishment and appears very desperate to the Friar. As a result, the Friar thi...


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...s prove that Romeo and Juliet is an Aristotelian tragedy. Romeo's monumental flaw of acting too emotional is solely the reason his life ends in a tragic death. As well, Juliet's tragic flaw of foolish decision-making leads her to an early death. Many emotions are evoked from the reader, such as pity and fear; the two main emotions of a tragedy. A catharsis, or purging of tragic emotions, occurs which proves that the play is an Aristotelian tragedy. The catharsis is a main element of this type of tragedy. The two families were able to apologize to each other at the end of the play and a healthy balance replaces the tragic emotions. A tragedy consists of many different elements, but certain types of tragedies have defined elements. To finish, Romeo and Juliet is a classic Aristotelian tragedy because of the tragic flaws, tragic emotions, and an unforgettable catharsis.

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