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Essay/Term paper: Romeo and juliet as a tragedy

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet As A Tragedy


Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is his eleventh play. It is with no
doubt a tragedy. Shakespeare has included all the necessary elements for a
tragedy. The play has a tragic hero of high standing who dies. The hero
opposes some conflicting force. The hero has a tragic flaw and this flaw will
lead to his downfall and the downfall of others. Good is always wasted driving
out evil. Indeed, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy.
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is the tragic hero. He is the only son of
the Montague family, therefor he is of high standing and very wealthy. He is
so well respected that even Capulet, His family's sworn enemy praises him:

"let him alone,,
He bears him like a portly gentlemen;
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth.
I would not for the wealth of all this town
Here in my house do him disparagement"(I.IV.65-70)

This means that among the people of Verona, Romeo is very well respected, and he
would not do any harm to Romeo at that time. Romeo is the hero in this story.
Romeo must die along with Juliet in order to stop the families' feud.
The conflicting force which Romeo opposes is the fact that he is a
Montague that is in love with a Capulet; his family's sworn enemy. The
Montagues and the Capulets have been feuding for many years. Romeo is a
Montague and he is born into the feud. He does not like it and he feels that
it is a waste. Romeo has to disobey his family so he can be with Juliet.
In this play, Romeo's tragic flaw is that he is always melancholy,
miserable, and downcast, and Romeo is always in love, and when he falls in love,
he falls hard. Romeo is depressed over Rosaline. Romeo is very disheartened
over her and it seems he has been like this for some time already. Montague
tells us this when he says Romeo "…Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight
out, / And makes himself an artificial night..."(I. I. 135-137). Romeo has a
major problem. Even after he meets Juliet, he is very sad because he discovers
that she is a Capulet. Shortly after, he is banished from Verona and is very
downcast once again over the fact that he will not be able is see Juliet again.
Romeo is so extremely in love that he says that instead of being banished, he
would rather be dead. When Friar Laurence gives Romeo the news of his
banishment Romeo replies by saying "Ha, banishment! Be merciful, say "death";…"
(III. III. 12). Romeo feels that "There is no world outside of Verona walls, /
But purgatory, torture hell itself…"(III. III. 17-18). Romeo is so much in
love with Juliet that he wants to kill himself when he discovers that she is
dead. Clearly, Romeo's tragic flaw is his tendency to be melancholy.
This flaw of Romeo's, which is his utterly immense sadness, leads to his
downfall and the downfall of others. At the tomb, Montague states that lady
Montague "is dead to-night; / Grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath…"
(V. III. 210-211). Because Romeo is banished from Verona, Lady Montague dies.
Romeo's fall not only leads to the downfall of Lady Capulet, but it
also leads to the downfall of Juliet, Tybalt, Mercutio, and Paris. Romeo goes
to Juliet's tomb, kisses her, takes the poison, and dies. This action of his
leads to the death of Juliet. Juliet sees Romeo dead, and tries to get some
poison from his lips to hers. Unable to succeed, she takes his dagger out and
kills herself. Romeo causes the death of Mercutio, and Tybalt. If Romeo was
not trying to make peace with Tybalt, Mercutio would not have tried to defend
Romeo. Mercutio feels that Romeo is afraid to fight Tybalt and he wants to
defend him. Romeo only wishes to make peace with Tybalt because now he is a
relative of his. Paris dies by trying to defend the Capulets tomb from Romeo.
Paris feels that Romeo has come to the tomb "...to do some villainous shame /
To the dead bodies…"(V. III. 52-53) and dies trying to defend Juliet and the
Capulets.
Good is always wasted driving out evil. The only way for the feud
between the Montagues and the Capulets to end is through the death of their
children. Romeo and Juliet must pay the forfeit of the peace.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. He has all of the elements
of a tragedy in this play. The play has a tragic hero of high standing who dies,
the hero opposes some conflicting force, the hero has a tragic flaw, this flaw
leads to his downfall and the downfall of others. Good is always wasted
driving out evil.. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an excellent play.
It is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies ever.

 

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