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Romeo And Juliet (1596) Tragic Protagonists or 'Star Crossed lovers'?

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Introduction

GCSE: English Coursework Unit 4: Literary Heritage William Shakespeare (1966-1916) Romeo And Juliet (1596) Tragic Protagonists or 'Star Crossed lovers'? Romeo and Juliet, a play written by William Shakespeare is one of the most popular love stories of all time. It is a story about "A pair of star-crossed lovers", Romeo and Juliet. From the opening scenes of the play these two children of feuding families were destined to fall in love together and eventually die together. In the play Romeo and Juliet's lives are based according to the stars, fate, chance and coincidence. One of the oldest and most debated questions of all time is whether our lives are governed by fate or by our personal choice. A definition of fate would be a power that is believed to settle ahead of time how things will happen. William Shakespeare, in Romeo and Juliet, brings this question to the surface. Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher who had numerous theories on the idea of fate and tragedy in a play. He said that tragedy was to be told "in a dramatic rather than narrative form, with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions." Aristotle believed that in every tragedy, the protagonist has a hamartia. A hamartia was a term used by Aristotle to describe the character flaw that would cause the tragic end of an otherwise noble hero. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo: 'I dreamt a dream tonight.' Mercutio: 'And so did I.' Romeo: 'Well what was yours?' Mercutio:'That dreamers often lie.' If Romeo had not been persuaded into going with Mercutio to the ball he would not have seen Juliet that night and their deaths could have been avoided. Juliet's Nurse could also be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. The Nurse had a very close relationship with Juliet, even closer than the relationship Juliet had with her mother so it was obvious Juliet would listen to the Nurse very closely. Yet the Nurse failed to give young Juliet guidance on her infatuation with Romeo. An example of this would be when the Nurse informs Juliet of Romeo's plans of a secret marriage in Friar Laurence's cell. "Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence' cell. There stays a husband to make you a wife. If the Nurse had told Juliet not to go through with the wedding with Romeo, Juliet may have listened to her because of the closeness between them, and Juliet may not have died. Another person that could be blamed for the tragedy is Friar Laurence. Friar Laurence is a very decisive character in the play, as he is the local priest who secretly marries Romeo and Juliet. Friar Laurence thinks that by marrying the young couple, it will bring an end to the feuding between the two houses: "In one respect I'll thy assistant be. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fate seems to guide people towards their destinies. In my opinion, all people have destinies, and they can't control what happens in their lives. A person can only try and prevent the worst from happening. Sometimes bad things do happen, but fate will always bring people together. In my view, Romeo and Juliet met by fate, not by chance, ther lives where governed by fate, but they did have some control over the outcome of their lives. In my view, fate was the principle reason for the tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet. The outcome of the play was made worse due to the flaws of character in the protagonists. Fate couldn't be avoided, but if the protagonists had done things differently, the outcome of the play wouldn't be as tragic. One often wonders if the tragedy in Romeo and Juliet could have been avoided , without the seemingly vital need for bloodshed. Could Romeo have not acted too hastily throughout the play, or Juliet, not have deceived and disobeyed her parents? The answer is that the tragedy was not the fault of any one individual , it was fate that Romeo and Juliet met and fell in love, and fate that they departed. "A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardoned, and some punished: For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." Sahil Singh 02/05/2007 4 ...read more.

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