• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Shakespeare create a sense of tragedy in the final scene of Romeo and Juliet?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Shakespeare create a sense of tragedy in the final scene of Romeo and Juliet? The Oxford English dictionary defines tragedy as 1) A play in which the main protagonist falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances which they cannot deal. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy because both characters kill themselves to show how much they love each other, even though that love is forbidden. Romeo and Juliet is different from other plays of Elizabethan times as Shakespeare made the play about a type of love that is positive as opposed to the type of love shown in the revenge tragedy plays of the era. Revenge tragedies include 'The Duchess of Malfi' by Webster, 'The Spanish Tragedy' by Kyd and 'Tamberlaine' by Marlowe. The genre revenge tragedy is based on murder and revenge. The murders are normally depicted in excruciating detail. Themes of this genre include social, political and religious interests of the Elizabethan people. In addition to this, the theme of parental control and the rebellion of their children to an extent can and did determine the ending as both Romeo and Juliet betrayed their parents which was, in the Elizabethan era, a major crime which was comparable to treason. If Shakespeare had written the play in such a way that the main characters lived "happily ever after", it would have been censored as it goes against the natural order of time. ...read more.

Middle

As Romeo enters the tomb, he is angry and grieving. He threatens to "...tear thee joint from joint, and strew this hungry churchyard with limbs". This is a stark contrast to the way Paris behaves in the tomb, strewing the tomb with flowers and stating that he will pour perfumed water all over Juliet's resting place. I believe that Paris is only saying this a he feels that he has to as he was almost married to her. There is no real passion to what he says as opposed to Romeo's much more aggressive and passionate speech which shows his complete devastation over his wife's' death. As Paris' speech opens, he puts out his light, bathing him in darkness. This says he is more artificial in his feelings as he says, "...put it out, for I would not be seen". This contrasts to Romeo, who asks for the light, which is relevant to what he says in regard to Paris. Romeo takes Juliet's wedding ring from her finger, " a precious ring, a ring that I must use in dear employment therefore hence, be gone" (Act5 sc3) He keeps her ring as his proof of their love and as a keepsake that reminds him of her. Romeo uses words of violence like 'savage', 'strew', 'tear' and 'fierce' to show his emotion. Romeo is obviously deeply distressed by the death of his wife and is abusive and angry over Juliet's death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Said he not so? Or did I dream it so? Or am I mad hearing him talk of Juliet?" (Act 5 sc 3) Romeo believes that he and Parris are victims of "sour misfortunes book" so he obeys Parris' final wish and lays him near Juliet's body in a mood of compassion. This refers to another theme, Fate V Freewill. As Romeo prepares himself for his suicide, Romeo personifies death and imagines that death wants Juliet for itself "that unsubstantial death is amorous". Romeo finishes getting ready and decides once and for all to join Juliet, "Here's to my love... thus I die with a kiss" Friar Lawrence and Balthasar appear at the churchyard and comment on what has happened which increases the tragedy as they emphasize the scale and enormity of what has happened. "And steeped in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour is guilty of this lamentable chance!" in addition to this, the Friar's opening uses references to stumbling "have my old feet stumbled at graves?" In Elizabethan times stumbling was seen as a bad omen. The audience would be aware of this and know that a dreadful event is coming. The Friar and Balthasar speak in short sentences and quick exchanges which add urgency and increase tension. Friar Lawrence brings the subject of fear into the mix and builds more tension when he says, "fear comes upon me". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    'How is Love Presented in Romeo and Juliet in Acts - 1 Sc 5; ...

    4 star(s)

    the 'nightingale' and 'lark', with the nightingale being black, a symbol of night; and the lark being yellow which is a symbol of the sun. Hence, the mentioning of birds starts from Act 2 Sc 2 - once they decide to get married, it is a symbol of their freedom.

  2. How does Shakespeare create a sense of tragedy in the final scene of 'Romeo ...

    Therefore, the audience would not interpret the ending as being the protagonist's fault, as I instinctively have. They would see the ending simply as tragic fate. Tragedies in Shakespeare's time were traditionally written as revenge tragedies; plays where the protagonist nobly tries to take revenge for a wrong doing unto them, this in turn then ends up in tragedy.

  1. Who is responsible for the final tragedy in romeo and juliet

    virgin anymore, partly Romeos doing, there would be more problems for Juliet. If Romeo had just waited outside Verona, then maybe Juliet could have run away to him, instead of faking her death and resulting in a tragic end; the sexual intercourse is partly Romeos fault and he is responsible for any outcomes from that.

  2. Romeo calls himself

    For instance, Lady Capulet, when having an argument with Juliet about marriage in Act 3 Scene 5 says "I would the fool were married to her grave" which is ironic as Romeo ends up killing himself thinking Juliet is dead at the end of the play.

  1. The opening scene of Romeo and Juliet creates a mounting sense of tension and ...

    It is a warning to them that if they step out of line again the perpetrators will lose their lives. This adds to the already present tension in a very sinister way as the audience and reader will foresee that the chances of the Montagues and Capulets being able to

  2. What techniques does Shakespeare use to create a sense of inevitability in Romeo and ...

    Inevitability works out its purpose without the use of a human villain or some supernatural agent, sent to intervene in mortal affairs, in this case Romeo's and Juliet's. It does this without the two lovers or other characters knowing. The characters who participate in the play, either significantly or insignificantly,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work