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Do you feel that tragedy or love is the central theme to William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Do you feel that tragedy or love is the central theme to William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? Many people feel that Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story ever told, their names are always associated with great love and affection. However with the final line of the play the prince states "for never there was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo" this suggests that it is more the most tragic story of all time. In an essay I will discuss both these themes and conclude by explaining, which I feel is more important. The play of Romeo and Juliet is set in the 16th century in Verona, Italy. It is based around the two main families of the city, the Capulet and the Montague's. These families have been fighting and at war for many years. In the prologue, it talks of there "civil brawl". From these two families we meet the main characters Romeo the Montague and Juliet the Capulet. When they meet at the Capulet ball they immediately fall in love, Romeo says, "I never saw true beauty till this night," suggesting that she has brought new meaning to beauty. ...read more.


Juliet was against marrying Paris, this was unusual for girls of this period as she was defying her parent's wishes. It is within this play that some of Shakespeare's most vivid beautiful and poetic language is used. All this adds to the sense of romance. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses a style of writing that is very similar to a sonnet. This was a style of poetry that Shakespeare was famous for; a sonnet was a type of love poetry that was 14 lines. The prologue to Romeo and Juliet, which begins Two houses holds both in like in dignitary In fair alone were we lay our scene This is in a style of a sonnet. Further examples of sonnets can be found in there speech. Through reading the play I have highlighted two key scenes where I think that the theme of love is most potent, these scenes are act 1 scene 5 and act2 scene 2. The first being when they first meet and the second being when he returns to her while she is on the balcony. ...read more.


I personally do not feel that you could say Romeo is fully responsible for the tragedy in the play. I would blame Juliet for going along with it all, the family for the feud and the friar for both marrying them and coming up with the plan. Despite all the characters it seems that the tragic ending was always going, to happen as the theme of fate is also relevant. It seemed written in the stars that the two characters would have a tragic end. In conclusion, I will discuss whether I feel love is tragic or successful. On the one hand, it would be easy to say that it is tragic because of their death however; Shakespeare is included one final scene, which makes me think otherwise. In the final scene, the audience learn that the two families come together in there grieving, this was something that both the state and the church failed to achieve, in this sense you could say love was successful. I personally feel that the tragedy was the most relevant issue today. As love in the play seems dated to the time of its writing. Stephen Roth ...read more.

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