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It is Juliet rather than Romeo who is the tragic hero of the play. Do you agree? Base your answer on close examination of the text.

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Introduction

Romeo & Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies. It is Juliet rather than Romeo who is the tragic hero of the play. Do you agree? Base your answer on close examination of the text. We are studying Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare wrote this play in 1954 to 1955. Set in peaceful Verona, the Montague's and Capulet's are two rival families. Juliet is the only daughter of the Capulet household, and Romeo the only son of the Montagues. They fall in love with each other, causing tragic outcomes. The prologue, at the start of the play, informs the audience about three important things. First, the two families at the beginning of the play, then, the fate of the two lovers, lastly, the two families at the end of the play. The purpose of the prologue is to foreground the certain themes of the play, which are, in Romeo and Juliet: conflict, fate and tragedy. The prologue also is written to introduce the play to the audience and help the audience follow the main plot of the play. It give an overview of the play so, if you cannot understand it, it will help you to. At the start of the prologue, we are informed about where the scene is set. "Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene." This helps establish that the pair of families, the Capulets and the Montagues, which are both as equally stood, in Verona, where the play is set. As the prologue progresses it continues to reaffirm the feuding families, this shows conflict. "From ancient grudge break new mutiny" This helps the reader understand there is a long-standing feud that has been going on between these two families that people have remembered; this is suggested by 'ancient grudge'. Conversely, 'new mutiny' suggests the families are going against the social order of Verona and are fighting. ...read more.

Middle

Although this seems apparent, it could just be a signal to forecast tragedy for Romeo, if so this would make him the tragic hero of the play. In my opinion he is, based on all the above evidence, the tragic hero of the play; and what has already happened is just a sign for things to come. Juliet is the fourteen-year-old daughter of Lord and Lady Capulet; she has been brought up by the ostentatious nurse and has an extremely formal relationship in the company of her mother. "Madam, I am here, what is your will?" Juliet sees her mother not as a companion but as a respected elder, she has had to spend most of her life without Lady Capulet as a main figure in her life. The language is extremely formal and it seems that the relationship between mother and daughter is very social, and Juliet's mother seems very concerned about social standings and her appearance to others than about being a proper mother to Juliet. Lady Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris, a wealthy highly socially stood young man in his early twenties. Her attitude towards Juliet's marriage is not motherly, and is an arrangement, and not for love at all. She tries to sell Paris to Juliet as if he were some special golden book. "The fish lives in the sea, and 'tis much pride for fair without the fair within to hide." Lady Capulet is selling Paris to Juliet, saying that with him, she will be happy and she will have a well-upheld position next to such an attractive man. Lady Capulet is in addition telling Juliet that her marrying this man will connote that she will make their family look superior in social standings. Although Juliet is very young, she seems very mature and has the main characteristics of a tragic hero, she is young and her life is already doomed to fail in tragedy. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Past hope, past care, past help." Juliet's situation seems so bitter and helpless to her that she cannot see any way out of her arranged marriage. Juliet is so emotionally intense that she is prepared to contemplate death. "I long to die." Although she is only thirteen, fourteen Juliet is considering suicide and is only young yet wants to die. The audience feels shocked at Juliet's rash and fateful decision that in Elizabethan times would have seemed disobedient yet they can se why she feels this way. Juliet is the tragic hero at this point in the play because she is considering death and feels that there is no other way out if this situation for her. Romeo is the tragic hero because he comes from one of a feuding family. Romeo killed Tybalt and has been banished. He loves the only woman who he should not and because of this, he dies a tragic death that is caused by his passionate and impetuous nature. The audience are encouraged to feel the characters emotions through his pleasure and pain approach to love. Juliet is the tragic hero because she comes from the other feuding family. Romeo killed Tybalt and has been banished, which leaves Juliet without a husband or a cousin. She loves the only man who she should not and because of this, she dies a tragic death that is caused by his passionate and impetuous nature, as Romeo poison himself and Juliet then stabs herself. The audience are encouraged to feel the characters emotions through her grown-up yet fickle approach to love. Juliet lets the audience experience many emotions including; death, killing, sadness, betrayal, love and tragedy. They are portrayed realistically to empathise with the characters can see and understand the situations better, for example, when Juliet's parents found out that she did not want to marry Paris. Therefore, Juliet is the tragic hero of the play. ...read more.

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