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

Romeo and Juliet - Several characters contribute to the final tragedy - How does Shakespere present these characters and what other factors might the audience consider when evaluating the cause of the lovers' deaths?

Extracts from this document...


'All are punished' Several characters contribute to the final tragedy. How does Shakespere present these characters and what other factors might the audience consider when evaluating the cause of the lovers' deaths? In my opinion I think that the audience are unable to allocate the blame to just one character or party for the deaths of the lovers. Instead, it is definitely necessary to distribute the blame amongst a number of individuals. The role of the individuals must not be the only thing considered, but also fate- Shakespere establishes from the onset that fate is a major contributor to certain events. Shakespere's audiences were more religious and superstitious than a modern audience and might have accepted this idea more. The patriarchal 17th century society of renaissance Italy influenced the way characters behaved; history also played a part like the ancient feud, which breaks 'from ancient grudge break to new mutiny.' This line reveals to us that the play concerns two rival noble families, the capulets and the montagues- the 2 families that have been enemies for centuries. Throughout the play shakespere uses hawk imagery to show the audience that the lovers recognised each other as dangerous choices as their families were enemies. Another factor that plays a part is the importance of family honour as this is why the romance between Romeo and Juliet had to be a secret, if the family honour was not so important the lovers' tragic death may not have happened. ...read more.


Friar does show us that his stated reason is his desire 'to turn your household's rancour to pure love.' Friar's political ambitiousness and keen attraction to status and praise is the reason why he wants to resolve the ancient feud. Friar tends to take a more authoritative role between himself and Nurse 'go before, Nurse. Commend me to thy lady.' We can distribute more blame on Friar as back in the 17th century the church had a great deal of authority allowing Friar Lawrence to marry the pair- this would not be accepted in today's society. Friar Lawrence can accept more responsibility for their deaths as he provided an escape route for Juliet- the potion. Act 4 scene 1 shows us that even friar thought the situation was difficult but it did not give him the right to give Juliet a 'desperate remedy.' He must have thought it through as he even wrote a letter to Romeo although he did not receive it. This is another problem, he really should have checked that Romeo received it- the pair would not have both committed suicides if Romeo knew about the plan before hand. Lord and Lady Capulet are the parents of Juliet; neither show no interest in their daughter's wishes and are more interested in keeping up their social position. This could be one of the reasons why the fatal incident happened. In the 17th century noble families paid a wet nurse to care for the child right from birth, this may be another reason why the relationship between Juliet and Lady Capulet lacked closeness and was so formal- this caused problems for Juliet concerning Paris. ...read more.


Throughout the play the characters are represented as easily provoked to violence or self-harm. In terms of literary tradition Romeo and Juliet is very notable as it is probably the most common of shakespere's plays. Whenever the media identifies lovers from rival sects, gangs or nationalities, particularly if young and keen to beat the odds, their story is told in terms of Shakespere's couple. Romeo and Juliet have become more than fictional characters; they are role models to conflicting young lovers. Romeo and Juliet has been re-told in countless versions and media. Toady's audiences are probably most familiar with Baz Luhrmann's film, which sets the narrative firmly in a late twentieth century urban society, in which the rival factions fight it out with pistols. Events are reported on television and Leonard Di Caprio/ Romeo meets Claire Danes/ Juliet passionately in the swimming pool rather than on her balcony. The play has been equally heavily used by other arts inspiring paintings, musical scores, operas and ballets. In my opinion I believe that we should really consider not 'who' is to blame but should instead consider 'what' is to blame. Without all the problems the pair face they may have not generally succeeded. If teenagers know that they are not allowed something they want it even more. Maybe if the ancient feud did not stand in the way the pair's relationship would not have been as strong as it was. 3 1 GCSE shakespere coursework By Joanne moriarty -11c ...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. Romeo And Juliet - The feud between the Montague and Capulet families and the ...

    Finally Friar Laurence fails to send the letter telling Romeo of the plan. By this time he has become so involved and is not thinking straight. He should have known that the message would not arrive before Juliet's death. This was the most critical part of the play.

  2. How do Juliet's Nurse and Friar Lawrence contribute to the tragedy of the play?

    The Nurse plays a major role in organising the marriage between Romeo and Juliet, as when Juliet falls in love with Romeo, she asks the Nurse to discover his identity for her. This is a significant event for the audience as it is the first time Juliet has not drew

  1. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    These happy masks that kiss fair laidies' brow, Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair. He that is strucken blind cannot forget The precious treasure of his eyesight lost. Show me a mistress that is passing fair; What doth her beauty serve but as a note Where I may read who passed the passing fair?

  2. Who or What Caused the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    a despised life clos'd in my breast, By some vile forfeit of untimely death." Shakespeare emphasises fates involvement in their lives by displaying this fatal forewarning. Romeo realises that going to this party will start a chain of events which will ultimately lead to his death.

  1. Who is responsible for the final tragedy in romeo and juliet

    she will not be virgin anymore and virgins where highly valued and her father thinks that she is a virgin and that is why the proposal from Paris agreed, if Juliet is found out not to be a virgin she might be exiled from the family because she did not

  2. How far do Juliet's Nurse and Friar Lawrence contribute to the tragedy of the ...

    He did have good intentions though believing this marriage would end the feud between the Capulets and Montagues, he agreed to Romeo to marry the couple believing it would "turn your households' rancour to pure love". This was perhaps quite a na�ve thing to believe, as the feud was very

  1. What roles did the leaders of Veronese Society Play in the deaths of the ...

    Though this suggests primarily that the weapons are offensive and angry towards one another, another meaning of this can also be that the weapons are weak and no match for the Prince's, as steel for weapons is tempered to make it harder and more durable.

  2. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet could so have easily been avoided, how does ...

    Romeo Romeo acted too hastily throughout the play. He should not have gone to the Capulet ball. As he later fell in love with Juliet, and only later did he start to wonder if she was a Capulet. "O dear my account, my life is my foe's debt".

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