Who Is To Blame For Romeo And Juliets Death Critical Essay Definition

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This story of star-crossed lovers is one of William Shakespeare’s tenderest dramas. Shakespeare is sympathetic toward Romeo and Juliet, and in attributing their tragedy to fate, rather than to a flaw in their characters, he raises them to heights near perfection, as well as running the risk of creating pathos, not tragedy. They are both sincere, kind, brave, loyal, virtuous, and desperately in love, and their tragedy is greater because of their innocence. The feud between the lovers’ families represents the fate that Romeo and Juliet are powerless to overcome. The lines capture in poetry the youthful and simple passion that characterizes the play. One of the most popular plays of all time, Romeo and Juliet was Shakespeare’s second tragedy (after Titus Andronicus of 1594, a failure). Consequently, the play shows the sometimes artificial lyricism of early comedies such as Love’s Labour’s Lost (pr. c. 1594-1595, pb. 1598) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (pr. c. 1595-1596, pb. 1600), while its character development predicts the direction of the playwright’s artistic maturity. In Shakespeare’s usual fashion, he based his story on sources that were well known in his day: Masuccio Salernitano’s Novellino (1475), William Painter’s The Palace of Pleasure (1566-1567), and, especially, Arthur Brooke’s poetic The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562). Shakespeare reduces the time of the action from the months it takes in Brooke’s work to a few compact days.

In addition to following the conventional five-part structure of a tragedy, Shakespeare employs his characteristic alternation, from scene to scene, between taking the action forward and retarding it, often with comic relief, to heighten the dramatic impact. Although in many respects the play’s structure recalls that of the genre of the fall of powerful men, its true prototype is tragedy as employed by Geoffrey Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1382)—a fall into unhappiness, on the part of more or less ordinary people, after a fleeting period of happiness. The fall is caused traditionally and in Shakespeare’s play by the workings of fortune. Insofar as Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, it is a tragedy of fate rather than of a tragic flaw. Although the two lovers have weaknesses, it is not their faults, but their unlucky stars, that destroy them. As the friar comments at the end, “A greater power than we can contradict/ Hath thwarted our intents.”

Shakespeare succeeds in having the thematic structure closely parallel the dramatic form of the play. The principal theme is that of the tension between the two houses, and all the other oppositions of the play derive from that central one. Thus, romance is set against revenge, love against hate, day against night, sex against war, youth against age, and “tears to fire.” Juliet’s soliloquy in act 3, scene 2 makes it clear that it is the strife between her family and Romeo’s that has turned Romeo’s love to death. If, at times, Shakespeare seems to forget the family theme in his lyrical fascination with the lovers, that fact only sets off their suffering all the more poignantly against the background of the senseless and arbitrary strife between the Capulets and Montagues. For the families, after all, the story has a classically comic ending; their feud is buried with the lovers—which seems to be the intention of the fate that compels the action.

The lovers never forget their families; their consciousness of the conflict leads to another central theme in the play, that of identity. Romeo questions his identity to Benvolio early in the play, and Juliet asks him, “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” At her request he offers to change his name and to be defined only as one star-crossed with her. Juliet, too, questions her identity, when she speaks to the nurse after Romeo’s slaying of Tybalt. Romeo later asks the friar to help him locate the lodging of his name so that he may cast it from his “hateful mansion,” bringing a plague upon his own house in an ironic fulfillment of Mercutio’s dying curse. Only when they are in their graves, together, do the two lovers find peace from the persecution of being Capulet and Montague; they are remembered by their first names only, an ironic proof that their story has the beneficial political influence the Prince, who wants the feud to end, wishes.

Likewise, the style of the play alternates between poetic gymnastics and pure and simple lines of deep emotion. The unrhymed iambic pentameter is filled with conceits, puns, and wordplay, presenting both lovers as very well-spoken youngsters. Their verbal wit, in fact, is not Shakespeare’s rhetorical excess but part of their characters. It fortifies the impression the audience has of their spiritual natures, showing their love as an intellectual appreciation of beauty combined with physical passion. Their first dialogue, for example, is a sonnet divided between them. In no other early play is the imagery as lush and complex, making unforgettable the balcony speech in which Romeo describes Juliet as the sun, Juliet’s nightingale-lark speech, her comparison of Romeo to the “day in night,” which Romeo then develops as he observes, at dawn, “more light and light, more dark and dark our woes.”

At the beginning of the play Benvolio describes Romeo as a “love-struck swain” in the typical pastoral fashion. He is, as the cliché has it, in love with love (Rosaline’s name is not even mentioned until much later). He is youthful energy seeking an outlet, sensitive appreciation seeking a beautiful object. Mercutio and the friar comment on his fickleness. The sight of Juliet immediately transforms Romeo’s immature and erotic infatuation to true and constant love. He matures more quickly than anyone around him realizes; only the audience understands the process, since Shakespeare makes Romeo introspective and articulate in his monologues. Even in love, however, Romeo does not reject his former romantic ideals. When Juliet comments, “You kiss by th’ book,” she is being astutely perceptive; Romeo’s death is the death of an idealist, not of a foolhardy youth. He knows what he is doing, his awareness growing from his comment after slaying Tybalt, “O, I am Fortune’s fool.”

Juliet is equally quick-witted and also has early premonitions of their sudden love’s end. She is made uniquely charming by her combination of girlish innocence with a winsome foresight that is “wise” when compared to the superficial feelings expressed by her father, mother, and Count Paris. Juliet, moreover, is realistic as well as romantic. She knows how to exploit her womanly softness, making the audience feel both poignancy and irony when the friar remarks, at her arrival in the wedding chapel, “O, so light a foot/ Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint!” It takes a strong person to carry out the friar’s stratagem, after all; Juliet succeeds in the ruse partly because everyone else considers her weak in body and in will. She is a subtle actor, telling the audience after dismissing her mother and the nurse, “My dismal scene I needs must act alone.” Her quiet intelligence makes the audience’s tragic pity all the stronger when her “scene” becomes reality.

Shakespeare provides his lovers with effective dramatic foils in the characters of Mercutio, the nurse, and the friar. The play, nevertheless, remains forever that of “Juliet and her Romeo.”

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910 words - 4 pages ohn Keating English Honors Lady Macbeth Must Take Some Blame for Her Husband’s Destruction In Macbeth, a play written by Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth is partially responsible for the destruction of her husband. Lady Macbeth is not a monster without feelings, however she is tricky and cunning when she influences Macbeth to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth’s ability to influence her husband leads the audience to believe that she is the primary cause for the destruction of Macbeth. The audience is also led to believe that Lady Macbeth is responsible because she makes up the details of the plan to kill Duncan, while Macbeth was considering not even going through with the murder. Although Macbeth had the... VIEW DOCUMENT

Prompt: Was Romeo and Juliet's love true and strong or weak and superficial (provide examples from text)? Essay topic: Romeo and Juliet's love was weak and superficial.

1571 words - 6 pages Love: a strong affection for another arising out of kinship, personal ties or attractable qualities. Infatuation: a foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction. Dinner and a movie, the talk on the car-ride home, and the climatic goodnight kiss. This is the typical perfect date for teenagers. After this night of courting, the couple thinks they are in love, when in reality, it is just infatuation. These crushes are common with teens because the relationship is based on physical appearance instead of the human nature needing to be with someone. Romeo and Juliet is an ideal model of this. Because both the upper class and working class viewed his playwrights,... VIEW DOCUMENT

"Romeo and Juliet": Analysis for the long feud between house and Capulet and Montagule, who is more blameworthy of the feud?

724 words - 3 pages Honor is a type of love for oneself. However, sometimes love can kill and inflict hatred for others. When one values their honor too highly it may lead to disasters and tragedies. In the play "Romeo and Juliet" the conflicts between the house of Montagues and the house of Capulets is so intense that even the slightest quarrel between the opposing family members can turn into an all out war. Throughout the play the honor of the house of Capulets had caused the consequences of many conflicts and deaths. Therefore, the houses of Capulets are most guilty of the feud for they have highly valued their honor... VIEW DOCUMENT

Who was more responsible for the Cold War?

974 words - 4 pages Lucile PoitevinWho was more responsible for the Cold War?The Cold War was an undeclared and nonviolent War between the USA and the USSR. There are different points of view to the date of the beginning of the Cold War by the historian. They argue that it started in July 1945, at the Potsdam Conference. Others argue that the dropping of the atomic bomb in August 1945 was the actual start of the Cold War. To open up, we are going to observe how... VIEW DOCUMENT

Who Really Was Responsible For Pearl HArbor's Devistation?

746 words - 3 pages December 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy. Over the years, historians and common people alike have hotly debated the specifics and blame regarding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Where should the fault lie? Was it the fault of commanders at Pearl Harbor during the war? Or, does the culpability lie squarely with our own federal government? Sure, there have been compelling arguments to support both views, but the fact is, the people responsible for a lack of responsiveness are the commanding officers that were present in Pearl Harbor at the time. In the end, the lack of preparedness... VIEW DOCUMENT

Who was responsible for the downfall of the first triumvirate.

1517 words - 6 pages Ancient History Assessment Task-During 70-48 BC in ancient Rome three men compromised to work and help each other, this was known as the first "Triumvirate". These three powerful men worked to further their own careers and those of their counterparts. Although through time we see the disintegration of this powerful triad due to the changing political relationship between Pompey, Caesar and Crassus, as each strived to become more powerful than the others. We will look at the reasons and circumstances that each of these three men played in the downfall of the triumvirate and the way their careers... VIEW DOCUMENT

Juliet's Relationship With Her Parents in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

2089 words - 8 pages Juliet's Relationship With Her Parents in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Lord and Lady Capulet have a distant, but affectionate relationship with their daughter, Juliet. At the beginning of the play, the parents think that Juliet is a respectful girl and listens to the parents needs. Lord Capulet has a positive and loving attitude towards Juliet at the beginning. This is proven in Act 1 scene 2 when Lord Capulet and County Paris are having a conversation on marriage. County Paris wants to marry the young and beautiful Juliet. Lord Capulet agrees to the decision but says that Juliet is the centre of his life and that she also has to make a... VIEW DOCUMENT

Comparsion of 1984's Winston and Julia and Romeo and Juliet's love.

863 words - 3 pages One distinct difference between Winston and Julia, and Romeo and Juliet, is how they met and fell in love. Winston met Julia at his work and from the first time he saw her, he hated her. Winston even wanted to kill her once, because he believed she was a spy from the Thought Police. His anger quickly changed to love when she secretly handed him a note containing the message, "I love you." Upon receiving this note Winston became obsessed with Julia,... VIEW DOCUMENT

The Development of Juliet's Character in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1716 words - 7 pages The Development of Juliet's Character in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet This essay is about Juliet's character and I am going to talk about how her behaviour develops towards Romeo, her Nurse, and on her own respectively. In the prologue we are informed that, 'a pair of star crossed lovers take their life,' [line 6, prologue]. This is to make us feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet. We also have to remember Juliet is only 13 at the start of the play and little more than a child; but she has potential to mature during the course of the play. Act 1 Scene 5 is the first encounter between the lovers. In this scene I think Juliet is clever just... VIEW DOCUMENT

Macbeth is Responsible for His Own Destruction

899 words - 4 pages In accordance with the Aristotelian tragedy, the hamartia of the character Macbeth is undeniably through his own flaw. William Shakespeare, in his play Macbeth, historically portrays the nobility of the protagonist and his gradual descent into an ambitious fiend whose disregard for the great chain of being cost him his honour, wife and status. Through his interference with fate, succumbing to the voice of his wife rather than reason and ambition are the catalysts for his fall from grace. An interference with fate and destiny is sure to cause chaos. Macbeth’s greatness as a soldier is met with surprise when he is greeted as, ‘thane of Cawdor,’ which he receives with much pleasure.... VIEW DOCUMENT

Who Is Responsible For Romeo And Juliet'S Death Essay Examples

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