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In the play of Romeo and Juliet we see how Shakespeare, a fifteenth centenary playwright tries to create the sense of a classical tragedy and a medieval tale of love into a play about "two star crossed lovers".

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Introduction

Andrew Coleman 10K Wednesday, 02 April 2003 In the play of Romeo and Juliet we see how Shakespeare, a fifteenth centenary playwright tries to create the sense of a classical tragedy and a medieval tale of love into a play about "two star crossed lovers". A classical tragedy is based on the belief of the Greek writer "Aristotle", Aristotle was a Greek born man who lived in about 350 BC and he believed that all plays that wished to be christened "tragedy" should have some very important qualities. These are the following, the main character has to play the most important part of the play and the story must tackle serious moral issues. Aristotle also felt that the play had to follow perpetual which means reversal of fortune and I feel that this factor makes the play "Romeo and Juliet" most like a traditional classical tragedy. The next factors that Aristotle had felt a classical tragedy had to include were, the hero or victim had to be of great importance and this was called Protagonists. The last points that Aristotle believed should be include in a play was Hubris and Catharsis, hubris means that the character had to have a flaw in himself and with his pride, Catharsis means a clear difference in the good and the bad, this also included that the good must win. At the end of the play Aristotle felt that order had to be restored to everyone and that the last action all took place at the same time and in one place, a classical tragedy also had to show the gods intervention. ...read more.

Middle

This is also seen in fifteenth century Literature in stories like, Chaucer's Monk's Tale in Canterbury Tales. A medieval tragedy usually also has to include some humour for the people that will see the play to relate with, this is done so the audience can relate to the play and so it can teach them something in a non-alliterative way, this was done because most of the population could not read or write. We see an example of this humour in this play when Romeo uses quite rude comparisons to Juliet's body in act three scene five "Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat" here Romeo compares Juliet to a bird that only sings when it is high in the air or in full flight, but Romeo means in intercourse. In order for this play to be a classical tragedy we need to see the intervention of the gods, this is seen when Romeo first sees Juliet and he is struck by her looks, the same also goes for Juliet. But Juliet is not already in a relationship where as Romeo is with a girl called Rosaline, but she does not seem to be in any part of the play. We can tell that Shakespeare tries to bring in the intervention of the gods by saying that cupid; the god of love has intervened and caused them to love each other. This is seen when Friar Laurence, Romeo's Priest, is told about Juliet and his everlasting love for her, yet he has only seen her once, "That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine". ...read more.

Conclusion

The prince is guiltily as well though and this is seen in the way he should have sentenced Romeo to his death after he killed Tybalt. If Romeo had been killed, Juliet would not have killed herself in the tomb when she saw Romeo's dead body, which made him killed himself with the sight of her faked death. So the innocent deaths that occurred later on in the play would not have happened, like Paris. So I think we can say that the prince is a weak man and this is seen when he takes the moral ground instead of the law, when he sentences Romeo to banishment and not death even thought he has killed "Immediately we do exile him hence". The prince should have killed Romeo here in the play. So in conclusion I feel that this play does stick to the ways of Aristotle and his book of the Poetics, but I think that Shakespeare has just updated the main ways of the book The Poetics, and that he tried to create a play that the queen could relate to, who at this time paid Shakespeare to write most of his plays because she liked take pleasure in his writing and I feel that this influenced the way he wrote. He was asked to write about the Hapsburgs and the Tudors settling all of there feuds and that they should of put an end to their long lasting disagreements and this play was trying to get this through to the public and that they needed to change there society and way of living. ...read more.

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