How minor characters are used by Shakespeare to portray a message

Shakespeare uses his perspective on situations, e.g. the way minor characters are used in Romeo & Juliet and Othello to illustrate the way in which these characters behave and what role they have on the play overall and how Shakespeare has used them to portray a message. This essay will focus on comparing the different … Read more

Parent/child relationships & character motivation in Romeo & Juliet

When would a parent rethink their position on a plan for their child if the child did not accept it?  Give an example of conflicting plans between a child and a parent.  When would a parent decide not to press the issue any longer and relent to the child’s wishes?  An example of conflicting plans … Read more

How does Tybalt’s violent nature and impulsiveness determine the traumatic fate of the lovers?

Statement of Intent: The purpose of writing this piece is to unravel the mysterious character of Tybalt and elucidate his under-recognized impact on the play. Many argue the cause of the demise of the lovers, some blame the friar and some blame the nurse, but this piece proves the true culprit to be held accountable … Read more

Themes of indecisiveness & impulsiveness in Romeo & Juliet

“More fiasco results from indecision than wrong practices”. This concise quote aptly encapsulates one of the most pivotal themes present in the acclaimed play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The play, which focuses on the journey of two star-crossed lovers from rival families, has an ever-increasing number of underlying themes emerging as the play … Read more

Shakespeare’s plays highlight his views of the political sphere

Shakespeare includes chaos causing agents and antagonists in his plays as a way of representing problems with both the protagonist as well as the current societal foundations in which he was living. By setting up each play with the tragic ruin or failure of our main character he depicts the correlation between what is fiction … Read more

How West Side Story compares to the original Romeo and Juliet text

Shakespeare’s plays contain at minimum the base story line for hundreds of films, from original text adaptations such as William Dieterle’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to animation adaptations like Disney’s Gnomeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s work is universal as it has been translated into dozens of languages, but more importantly, because it reaches every person and … Read more

Juliet is the tragic hero of Shakespeare’s play

Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, follows the two eponymous characters as they navigate the destruction and devastation true love can bring. Juliet begins as a wide-eyed, innocent young girl, merely 13 years old, yet throughout the course of the play, Shakespeare portrays the development of Juliet’s character indirectly through the language she uses, the language … Read more

About Romeo and Juliet

“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo,” said the prince. The story of Romeo and Juliet is indeed surrounded by sorrow and distress. The tragedy is driven by blindness love to each other. Romeo and Juliet both knew their role in their families, they knew their love for each other will never be approved by their families, they are told to see each other as enemies, but yet they still fell into a trap which they created for themselves. Is this their ultimate fate or it is something that they can change? There are certainly some decisions that are made to fail, and also some characters other than Romeo and Juliet, which failed to do what they are called to do.

One of the crucial things that contributed to this tragic event is Romeo’s character. Throughout the story, there are a lot of places which show his impulsiveness. One example of this early in the play. Romeo reacts emotionally when he hears his beloved Rosaline is going to a convent. But in a few scenes later, he sees Juliet the first time and instantly forgets about Rosaline. “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night. Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!” (1.5.43-45) Although he knows clearly that Juliet is a Capulet and he should not have any relationship with her, he still finds a chance to speak with her, and later even asks if he can kiss her. This is a great example of Romeo’s impulsiveness. If Romeo thinks about the consequences they both need to bear before taking action, they would have never met and the tragic ending will not happen.

Friar Lawrence’s failure to do what he is called to do by making two big mistakes also impacted the tragic ending. Firstly, although he had a good intention to end the feud between the Montagues and the Capulet’s through marrying Romeo and Juliet when he said: “For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancour to pure love.”(2.3.91-92) He makes his decisions too quickly without thinking Romeo and Juliet are still teenagers who are blinded by love. They should spend more time knowing each other first before determining they are right for each other. In the end, the two families indeed meet at one point and end the feud, but is there a better way to solve the problem without the tragic ending? Secondly, when Juliet awakes from the tomb, Friar Lawrence arrives and he attempts to bring Juliet away from the tomb, he says, “Stay not to question, for the Watch is coming; come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.”(5.3.158-159) Juliet, of course, does not listen because she just woke from sleeping, she asks Friar Lawrence what happened, but because he is afraid that he will get caught so he runs away leaving Juliet behind. His selfishness made Juliet commit suicide. Friar Lawrence runs away when Juliet needed her the most, and the consequence of that is Juliet killing herself because she thinks that she has no point living anymore due to the death of her beloved.

Finally, Romeo and Juliet’s “love” to each other is the most crucial thing which leads to the tragic ending. They both claim to fall in love within seconds when they see each other the first time. They didn’t get to know each other first like normal people would, instead they both jumped into conclusion that they need to get married as soon as possible. In reality, they are just attracted to each other’s appearance and they are not truly in love. One reason supporting that is throughout the story, Romeo and Juliet are just teenagers who are trying to seek distraction from reality. Romeo isn’t in love with Juliet because he is still in love with Rosaline. He is trying hard to get over her after Rosaline rejected him. This quote by Romeo, “I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown, but to rejoice in splendour of mine own”, (1.3.33) proves that Romeo is attending the ball just to see Rosaline. Romeo is heartbroken because Rosaline is not returning his love, so he immediately shows his “love“ to Juliet just to escape from reality. Juliet, on the other hand, is also not in love with Romeo. She is trying to escape the reality of marrying Paris. Juliet’s unwillingness to marry Paris makes her think that by marrying Romeo, she will not need to be with a man she is not interested in. Romeo and Juliet are using each other’s love to escape from their unpleasant realities.

In conclusion, the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet is not only the result of them both. It is also caused by other characters such as Lord Capulet, The Nurse, and Friar Lawrence. If Lord Capulet asks Juliet’s opinion on marrying Paris instead of forcing her, Juliet will not come out as impulsive and desperate. If The Nurse does not blindly encourage Romeo and Juliet to do whatever it takes to be together, they may rethink their love to each other. If Friar Lawrence thinks about the consequences they all will bear if his plans fail, the ending of Romeo and Juliet may not be tragic. Even though Romeo and Juliet could escape reality, but they will never be able to escape their fate. The opening lines of “Romeo and Juliet” tells us they will eventually die and the ending is set. “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes. A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.” (Prologue) It is possible that a series of coincidences, bad decisions, and bad luck altar the tragic ending, but no matter what the characters do to defy fate, the outcome will not be a happy one. They are chosen to die, they are chosen to be the ones who will bring change into Verona through their deaths, they are fated to love and die for the greater good of Verona. In the end, no one can defy fate. Is fate will be what it will be, no matter what?

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