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At what point does the story of Romeo and Juliet change from a romance to a tragedy?

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At what point does the story of Romeo and Juliet change from a romance to a tragedy? From reading the prologue I know that the story is based on two households that are both alike and equally dignified: 'two households both alike in dignity'. I expect there to be disputes between the two families and that there is a grudge between the two: 'from ancient grudge'. There will be some sort of disaster between Romeo and Juliet: 'from forth the fatal loins of these two foes'. I also know that Romeo and Juliet, who are from each of the families, will both take their lives: 'A pair of star crossed lovers take their lives'. Romeo and Juliet will take their lives because they love each other: 'death marked love', and the families will bury their grudge because of the deaths, so some good comes out of it: 'doth with their death bury their parents strife'. Shakespeare intended the audience to know that the lovers die to create the mood and attitude of the audience watching it. The features that I would expect to find in a typical romance are firstly that there would be some differences between the people or some reason why they should not be together, most romances have a plot that makes it difficult or unlikely that the couple will end up together. ...read more.


(Act five, scene three). When Romeo first sees Juliet he forgets all about Rosaline: 'What lady's that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?' (Act one, scene five). He thinks that she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and makes comments about how lovely she is such as 'Beauty too rich to use, for earth too dear' (Act one, scene five). He realises that he only thought he loved Rosaline 'Did my heart love till now?' and 'I ne'er saw true beauty till this night' (Act one, scene five). Their speech together in Act 1 scene 5 is a sonnet and is spoken in rhyming couplets meaning that Juliet's reply corresponds to Romeo's speech line by line, this emphasises the exchanges. Although their conversation is mostly about saints and pilgrims there are many comments about kisses and lips from which it is obvious that they are attracted to each other. Juliet says 'O then dear saint, let lips do what hands do' meaning that she wants their lips to touch like hands are put together to pray. In Act 2 scene 2 Juliet says the famous line: 'O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?'. Their speech is typical of a Shakespearean romance because it starts off subdued but changes speed and energy as their emotions take over, Juliet speaks passionately with quick bursts of emotion and sudden changes of direction, her mood also changes quickly: 'Well do not swear'. ...read more.


The Friar's plan was to tell Romeo of the fake death of Juliet and have him be there when she awoke from the sleeping potion. Instead Romeo is distraught and goes and buys poison ready to take his own life when he is reunited with Juliet. In Act five scene two we learn why Friar John was unable to get the message of Friar Lawrence's plan to Romeo. The play has a tragic ending because the plan that could have meant that they would be together goes wrong. Had Juliet woken moments earlier she could have stopped Romeo from killing himself, likewise if Romeo had not been in such a hurry he would have seen Juliet was not dead. This timing was purely down to chance but had a major effect on the outcome of the play. If they had both lived there might have been a happy ending, although the family feud would have no doubt continued. As it was some good came of it in that the two families ended their feud but the cost to each of them was great with members of each family dying. I think the play is a romance because in the end Romeo and Juliet are together despite both dying and there is a kind of happy ending although the circumstances are tragic. Luke Ruffell ...read more.

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