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How does Shakespeare present a sense of inevitability over the doom of his protagonists? Relate closely to the text.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Niv Rabbou 10R How does Shakespeare present a sense of inevitability over the doom of his protagonists? Relate closely to the text. The Prologue serves as an introduction to 'Romeo and Juliet'. We are given information about where the play takes place, and some background information about its main characters.However, the obvious function of the Prologue as introduction to 'Romeo and Juliet' can disguise its deeper, more important function. The Prologue does not merely set the scene of 'Romeo and Juliet', it tells the audience exactly what is going to happen in the play. The Prologue refers to an ill-fated couple with its use of the word "star-crossed," which means, literally, 'against the stars'. Stars were thought to control people's destinies. But the Prologue itself creates this sense of fate by providing the audience with the knowledge that Romeo and Juliet will die even before the play has begun. The audience therefore watches the play with the expectation that it must fulfill the terms set in the Prologue. The structure of the play itself is the fate from which Romeo and Juliet cannot escape. Throughout his play, Shakespeare uses 'death' to move his story along. He does this with actual deaths, which cause problems for the lovers, and through premonitions and dreams of death. ...read more.

Middle

Initially, at the beginning of this scene, Capulet will have no talk of marriage, due to the recent death in the family. However, in order to help Juliet through her "grief" over Tybalt's death, Capulet decides to marry her off to Paris .Of course this is a problem as she is secretly married to Romeo at this time. In III, v, Lady Capulet states, "I'll send one in Mantua, where that same banished run agate doth live, that he shall soon keep Tybalt company...". This statement prophesizes Romeo's death later in the final scene of the play. Then, Lady Capulet wishes her daughter to be" married to her grave" which is ironic, as Juliet will take a potion causing her to appear dead in IV, ii. That same evening, the lovers consummate their marriage, and in the morning, Juliet makes yet another prophesy, "O God, I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. Either my eyesight fails me, or thou lookest pale". Therefore, she seeks the advice of the Friar. Juliet threatens to kill herself if he will not help her, as she, like Romeo, believes that death is the only solution. ...read more.

Conclusion

He obliges the dead man and lays him in the tomb. When in the tomb, Romeo looks at Juliet and says, "Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath had no power yet upon thy beauty...That unsubstantial Death is amorous, and that the lean abhorred monster keeps thee here in dark to be his paramour?". Here Romeo comments that Death, personified, has not yet taken away Juliet's beauty. He then goes on to state that Death is keeping Juliet as its wife. At the end of his monologue, Romeo drinks the poison and dies. The Friar arrives upon the scene a bit to late, but is there to greet Juliet when she awakens. The sight is too horrible for him, and he leaves Juliet alone in the tomb Distraught that there is no more poison left, Juliet stabs herself. At the end of the play, we also learn of the sudden death of Lady Montague, after Romeo's banishment. This is all relevant to the question because it has a significant relation to death. Throughout his play, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare illustrate the death motif in many ways. He used actual deaths, personification of Death, and used the foresight to gradually end up with death and disaster. In doing so in this moving manner, his play runs smoothly, and links to other parts very well, into an ironic and twisted tragedy. ...read more.

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