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

How is Romeo and Juliet an effective tragedy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is Romeo and Juliet an effective tragedy? Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. A tragedy could be defined as, "A play, film or television program, or other narrative work that portrays or decipts calamitous events and has an unhappy but meaningful ending" I think that this definition is true to the events that unfold in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare's language during the play is spoken in verse (by the main characters), giving pace to the play, with clever use of language, the audience see changes in the actor's speech, speeding up and hightening the tension of the impending tragedy. The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of two rival families, who have fought for centuries, and of how two people from each family fall in love, and die. Five main characters die, the most in any Shakespeare play. The tragedy is apparent from the outset, the audience are aware of the tragedy looming on the main characters, with a clever prologue. Romeo and Juliet is the most famous romantic plays ever performed, and possibly one of, if not the most famous tragedy presented on the stage. To begin the play, the audience is presented with the prologue, which explains to the audience about the impending tragedy. From the offset of the play, the prologue, setting the scene also tells the audience of what events will follow, "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;" The narrator describes to the audience of how two children born in to warring families will fall in love, and it will end in death. ...read more.

Middle

It also shows him as a caring and helpful man, which will play a great effect towards the tragedy. Romeo turns to Friar Lawrence for advice, which, at the start of the play seems harmless, but in later scenes, the audience sees the danger in it. The Friar questions Romeo about Rosaline, "Wast thou with Rosaline?" but Romeo simply replies with, "I have forgot that name and that name's woe." This shows Romeo's personality of how 'the girl he couldn't live without' had changed so suddenly, and he asks the Friar to marry them, even though they have just met. This rush in to marriage is a tragedy in itself. Romeo asks,, "And all combined, save what thou must combine By holy marriage." He is saying that he and Juliet are like one person, or at least they will be when the Friar marries them. Friar Lawrence tries to warn Romeo of his rush in to marriage, but he respects his wishes and agrees to marry them. The Nurse encourages the marriage when she hears of it to both Romeo and Juliet, telling Romeo to care for Juliet, and pushing Juliet to marry Romeo and not Paris, this of course encourages a rushed marriage, and the fast marriage is a reason for the tragic events that take place. Act 3 sees the tragic events start to take place. Tybalt is looking to duel Romeo, and as the Prince said at the beginning of the play, another fight would end in banishment. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet" Showing he genuinely cared for and loved Juliet, adding to the final tragic moments. Romeo and Juliet are reunited. Romeo gives a monologue about Juliet and how he's going to be with her soon, yet if Romeo had not rushed in to this, or even thought about it for a few more minutes, he would have seen Juliet wake, this is the ultimate tragic event in the play. And with the poison, Romeo dies. Just mere minutes later... Juliet wakes. This shows the audience now that if Romeo had taken a moment to think, it wouldn't have ended like this. And, of course Romeo has also just missed the Friar, who meets Juliet as she wakes, she now takes the role of desperation, refusing to go with the friar, she proceeds to kill herself. Amongst the chaos, two warring families, fighting for generations see their two children, dead, in each other's arms. The death of five people, Mercutio, Tybalt, Paris, Romeo and Juliet, finally make them realise that the fighting is stupid. They simply make-up like friends after a fight, yet the tragedy is that it took the death of 5 people, two, their own children who were madly in love to make the feud that should've ended years ago, end now. The Friar and servants carry their statements, and the Montagues and Capulets put things right. The Prince at the end of the play tells the audience that this is the saddest thing you will see on stage. "For there never was a story more of woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." ...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. How does Shakespeare create a sense of tragedy in the final scene of 'Romeo ...

    The dark imagery used throughout this scene helps build up the tragic atmosphere because it is associated with darkness and death, which is associated with tragedy. The violent language that both Paris ("murdered", "banished", "villainous", "vile") and Romeo ("womb of death")

  2. Compare 'Macbeth and 'Romeo and Juliet' as tragedies - which do you find more ...

    for Romeo they tend to forget that he is capable of killing someone. Banishment of course adds an extra twist to the play and both Romeo and Juliet are distraught after it. The audience sympathises immensely with this because they are unable to see each other.

  1. At the end of act II, Romeo and Juliet are married and unaware of ...

    Had the two lovers not been so impulsive, they could have talked with the Friar and decided if this was really the best option for them. If they had thought the situation through, they would have come to realize that this was not the right decision to make at all.

  2. In Romeo and Juliet account for the changes that take place in the character ...

    We know that Romeo's love for hose particular metaphors to show his devotion to her. From then on they start teasing each other, by saying things like ' O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do. ...they pray ' (Romeo's asking Juliet for a kiss)

  1. The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

    Zefferelli has taken a light and humorous atmosphere; this would have been to the sheared comedy context of the times. In Zefferelli's adaptation he illustrates how hot it is by Mercutio bathing in the fountain and making light of Benvolio's lack of fortitude.

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

    (Act5 scene3) He basically says, ' I'm the biggest suspect due to circumstantial evidence, and I'm the most powerless. I stand here to both accuse and clear my name.' Therefore I think it's fair to say that the doings of the Friar contributed in many ways to the final tragedy, unless the couple have been doomed regardless of the Friar's decisions.

  1. A tragedy is a play in which the main character or characters die at ...

    Romeo believed in the stars saying this before leaving for the Capulet ball "I fear to early for my mind misgives, some consequences yet hanging in the stars, shall bitterly begin this fearful date". Romeo knew his actions were not down to him but the stars "he that hath steerage over my course, direct my sail".

  2. Jonathan Tindall10x1 Final Draft

    I would have thatched Tudor houses lining the background with a couple of street lamps stood slightly in front. I would also make sure there is a flag in the set so that when Prince Escales enters people will be able to match the symbols on his garments to that on the flag.

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