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'Romeo and Juliet' - romance or tragedy?

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  • Essay length: 2677 words
  • Submitted: 04/03/2004
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GCSE Romeo and Juliet

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'Romeo and Juliet' - romance or tragedy?

'Romeo and Juliet' was written by William Shakespeare in 1589. The tragedy and romance of the play has been performed many times in different ways, but is it really a romance or a tragedy?

The prologue at the beginning of the play that is spoken by the chorus gives the audience a summarised story line so they know what to expect, "The fearful passage of their death marked love". From the prologue, the audience will know if it is of a high-quality or an appalling play and if it's a romance or a tragedy. The prologue in 'Romeo and Juliet' is written in a sonnet form - this means that the play is going to be about love in one way or another. The audience would recognize this but would also identify that the play being a tragedy by the way "death" is involved in the sonnet.

In a typical romance the audience would expect to see two beautiful lovers fall for each other because of destiny and then they should live happily ever after. However 'Romeo and Juliet' is not like this, the audience is constantly

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