Tragic Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Tragic Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Tragic Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Tragedy was very popular in Shakespeare’s day. The majority had a
climax at the end involving many dead bodies finishing on stage. Most
other play writers at this time also wrote tragedies like John Webster
who wrote “the witch devil”. Romeo and Juliet was the first major
tragedy. It was before “the big four” which was Macbeth, Othello,
Hamlet and King Lear which were written between (1600-1606).All of
Shakespeare tragic heroes are doomed almost from the start due to a
fatal flaw in their personality. E.g. Macbeth was too analytical,
thoughtful, and not a man of action. Othello is overly jealous. Romeo
is far too romantic, hasty and fickle. Maybe they were both doomed
from the start.

Fate is one of the key reason why the play ends in tragedy. The two
families are rivals so it is fate from the start when they meet. “His
name is Romeo, and a Mountague, the son of your great enemy“ The nurse
says this to Juliet when Juliet meets Romeo for the fast time. In the
scene it tells you the whole plot of the play so this is fate, we know
from the beginning. “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a
pair of star-crossed lovers take their life”. This is saying that 2
lovers from different families will take their lives to be together.
Shakespeare used this to get the crowds attention because it mentions
people dying which would get the attention of the audience. Was it all
written in the stars from the stars? Was there nothing they could do
to stop it happening? “And shake the yoke of unauspicious stars”. This
means Romeo is annoyed with the stars because in their day they
believed the stars mapped out all their future for them. A yoke is a
burden. Romeo is saying he is trying to shake off the burden of the
unauspicous stars. He wants to break away from the idea of the stars
deciding everything. They are talking about welcome death before they

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even know they are going to die. Its like they are jinxing themselves.
“Come, death, welcome: and Juliet wills it so”. This is Romeo saying
to Juliet the morning that Romeo has to leave Verona. Juliet is
jinxing herself by saying “Then, window, let in day, and let out
life”. She is saying let out Romeo and let the sunlight from the
window in. It is also saying that Romeo is life for her. He is what
keeps her living. This is the last time she sees him. I think that
fate was one of the main reasons for Romeo and Juliet’s death.

Another reason why Romeo and Juliet’s lives came to an end so early
was Adolescent passion and haste. The whole play happens in just one
week and in that week 2 teenagers meet, marry and die. Teenagers when
they meet someone they are attracted to and often think they are in
love. “Did my heart love till now?” Romeo says this when he meets
Juliet for the first time at the party. He is saying that he loves
her in the first 10 minutes of meeting her surely this is too hasty
and a sign that there is some adolescent passion involved in this
play. Earlier that day Romeo was saying how much he loved Rosalyn and
now he is saying how desperately he is in love ten minutes after he
meets Juliet. Romeo and Juliet are planning to get married after
having only spent an evening together. “Three words, dear Romeo, and
Good night indeed. If that thy bent of love be honourable, thy purpose
marriage, sent me word tomorrow.” Juliet says this the evening she met
to Romeo. They are all ready planning a wedding after a few hours. It
all seems to be happening a bit too fast. Romeo is convinced that he
loves Juliet and thinks things are not happening too quickly. “O let
us hence I stand on sudden haste. Wisely and slow they stumble that
run fast” Romeo says this to Friar Lawrence when he tells him to slow
done. He is saying that those who act slowly and wisely make mistakes
and those that don’t, survive. Friar Lawrence thinks that they are
acting too quickly. “Holy saint Francis, what a change is here, is
Rosaline that thou didst love so dear, so soon for saken, young men’s
love then lies” This is Friar Lawrence telling Romeo that he is going
into to it quickly. It says that yesterday you were mad about Rosaline
and now you are quick to change your mind and fall in love with
Juliet.

In Shakespeare’s day Fathers decided everything for their daughters
from which parties they went to, to who they ended up marrying. If you
didn’t do what you were told then you would be thrown out on the
streets, left to fend for yourself. Juliet’s father chose who she was
going to get married to. “But fettle your fine joints ‘ganist Thursday
next to go with Paris to saint Peter’s church, or I will drag thee on
a hurdle thither, Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!
‘ou tallow-face!” This is Juliet’s dad telling Juliet she has to marry
Paris or she will have no money, family or home. Juliet’s father
decides when she is of age to marriage. “she hath not seen the change
of fourteen years let two more summers wither her pride ere we may
think her ripe to be a bride”. This is when Juliet’s father is taking
to her. This quote says Juliet is now ready to be married. If Juliet
hadn’t gone to the church to marry Paris then her father would never
face her again. “hang thee young baggage! Disobedient wrench! Hell
thee what; get thee to church o’ Thursday, Or never after look me in
the face. Speak not, reply not, do not answer me!” Here Juliet’s
father tells Juliet if she doesn’t marry Paris he won’t look at her
again. I think that Juliet’s father is trying to make Juliet do
something she really doesn’t want to do and this pushes Juliet away
from doing what he demands even more.

Another reason why Juliet and Romeo died might have been the feud
between their families. Romeo is always fighting with Tibalt “ Thou
art a villain!”. This Tibalt talking to Romeo the day Romeo kills him.
Both families are always quarrelling and I think this makes the
situation even worse. If the Capulets and the Mountagues had got on to
begin with then they wouldn’t of had to marry in secret and Romeo
wouldn’t have been banished and so maybe Romeo and Juliet might not
have ever died. Mercutio cursed both families. “I warrant for this
world. A plague o’ both houses!” It could have been the curse that
Mercutio put on the houses that doomed Romeo and Juliet. Maybe because
they were such enemies all the deaths were doomed from the start.
“Form ancient grudge break to new mutiny”. This is the prologue
warning us about the two rival families.

Was it chance that Romeo and Juliet died, just bad luck and bad timing
might have been the reason for the unfortunate deaths of the
passionate couple. The non delivering of Friar Lawrence’s letter was
chance. “ So fearful were they of infections Unhappy fortune! By may
brotherhood, the letter was not nice, but full of charge, of dear
import; and the neglecting it May do much danger. Friar John, go
hence,” This is Friar Lawrence saying how important it is that Romeo
gets and reads the letter. Also it says how dangerous it is if he
doesn’t get it. It must have been chance that Baltasar was passing the
church at Juliet’s funeral. “Her body sleeps in capel’s monument And
her immortal part with angels lives I saw her laid low in her
kindred’s vault, And presently took post to tell it to you” This is
Baltasar; Romeo’s best friend telling him that Juliet is dead.

I think all of these reasons for the tragic death of these
“star-crossed lovers” are valid reasons. I think that Fate played a
big part in the death as it might of all have been doomed form the
start and also I think that chance is also a major reason. Most of the
events that lead to their deaths happen by chance. All the reasons in
the essay above combine to cause the deaths of the young lovers.
Shakespeare uses relevant, descriptive and stimulating language to
portray the reasons for Romeo and Juliet’s tragic deaths. “Did my
heart love till now?
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