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"Explore the causes behind the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet"

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Task: "Explore the causes behind the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet" Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story written by William Shakespeare. The play is based around two lovers, who commit suicide when their feuding families prevent them from being together, set in Verona, in northern Italy. The play is generally involving love and family honour, in the days when the play was written, parents expected to be obeyed-they even decided who their children should marry. Romeo and Juliet go against their parent's wishes and the feud when they fall in love. There are many reasons as to why the final tragedy may have occurred. Some of the main characters contribute to it; the pace of the play leads to it; fate also plays a role. Friar Lawrence plays the role in the play as a priest, and also to many almost an agony uncle, he's an advisor and likes to help with good intentions, mainly known to do so with Romeo, the Friar refers to him as ''pupil mine''(act2 scene3) When persuaded to take part in risky decisions by Romeo and Juliet, such as agreeing to marry them both, he did so with good intent to bring the two feuding families together, perhaps one of the most vital decisions he made in the play. My impressions of the Friar are that he's very independent, and likes to take control of situations in order to sort things out, as he automatically takes on the load of getting peace between the two families. This happens as soon as Romeo and Juliet fall in love, and he doesn't fully agree with the speed of their decision. Romeo: ''O let us hence! I stand on sudden haste.'' Friar Lawrence: ''Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.'' (Act2 Scene4) I feel this sentence almost sums up why most things went wrong; perhaps if the Friar had taken his own advice, and if Romeo and Juliet slowed down and thought about their decisions, the outcome could have been different. ...read more.

Middle

Right after killing Tybalt, although with his own hands, he prefers to blame the stars. ''...some consequence yet hanging in the stars...'' Juliet is some what different than Romeo in the fact that she does not blame fate for the events that go wrong, but prefers to blame her birth; ''Prodigious of love is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy.'' (Act1 scene 5) Juliet shouldn't have disobeyed her parents, and as like Romeo, she was too hasty in marrying Romeo. She is very loyal to Romeo, and refuses to let him go, even though he killed her cousin Tybalt. In the balcony scene you can see how she looks out to him; '' The orchard walls are high and hard to climb And the place death, considering who thou art,'' We have to remember Romeo and Juliet were young, and fickle, too young to think things through, and slow down with decisions. It's easy to blame characters for their wrong decisions and choices, and this is what it appears to the audience, however Shakespeare also suggests strongly, what if there was a force beyond their control that was responsible for the final tragedy. Fate and unfortunate coincidence. This is a typical view at the time the play was written. Many people believed that life had a set path, that no matter what you did, it can not be changed. It would be people with this opinion that would say Romeo and Juliet were destined to die. And everyone who we thought were the main contributors to the final ending were simply all puppets, in fate's show. This concept also allowed the characters to have premonitions about what was going to happen. Fate is defined as, ''the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events'' Throughout the play, fate has come up in many circumstances, mainly when something has gone wrong, many characters choose to blame it on the stars, or coincidence. ...read more.

Conclusion

He has laid down the law, which brings out a whole new border to the play, because the next time they come to fight, the edict will have an effect on the characters. The second catalyst is Romeo and Juliet's love for each other from different houses, causing hate, and conflict, the solution finally being the tragedy. After examining the length of the play using character referrals to the time and date, I found out the play is in fact five days long (Sunday-Thursday), which is a huge shock considering everything that has happened, has done in three days! Referring to the original poem Romeo and Juliet was derived from it took place over three months, Shakespeare's contraction to five days suggests he means this to be an important factor. Why has Shakespeare chosen to do this? I don't think this is an accident. He makes a point of referring to time through the characters Even including scenes such as (Act 3 scene 1) where we start of with a climax of a lot of people, a fast pace, then the pace slows down and less people appear on stage. I think a fast climatic scene is followed by a slow paced one, just for the audience to take in all the drama. The whole play combines huge conflicts, emotions and events in such a short space of time, creating a sense of haste. There's never a feeling of characters standing back and trying to prevent the tragedy and I feel it's for this very reason that the theme of haste contributes to the final tragedy. Overall I don't think there is just one factor we can pin-point to blame the tragedy on; I think this is one of the reasons Romeo and Juliet remains a popular play. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet are announced at the start of the play, but we become caught up in their story. It keeps the audience guessing, what/who is really intended to be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? Roaa Al-bedaery 10ED ...read more.

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