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Romeo & Juliet – Did love or hate win in the end?

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Introduction

Romeo & Juliet - Did love or hate win in the end? Introduction Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet around the 1590s. During much of the twentieth century, critics tended to disparage this play in comparison to the four great tragedies that Shakespeare wrote in (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello). Romeo and Juliet appears to lack the psychological depth and the structural complexity of Shakespeare's later tragedies. But over the past three decades or so, many scholars have altered this assessment, effectively upgrading its status within Shakespeare. They have done this by discarding comparative evaluation and judging Romeo and Juliet as a work of art in its own right. Viewed from this new perspective, Shakespeare's drama of the "star-crossed" young lovers is seen to be an extraordinary work. The latter include the antithesis between love and hate, the correlative use of a light and dark polarity, and the prominent status accorded to Fortune and its expression in the dreams, omens and forebodings that presage its tragic conclusion. Scene I In a public place of Verona, we first see two servants of the Capulet family armed with swords, ready to fight with any "dog of the house of Montague." They express the enmity toward Montague in vulgar terms. Just then, two servants of the Montague household enter and the two sides begin to fight. The fight ends temporarily when Benvolio, a Montague and a cousin of Romeo's, appears and beats down their swords. Immediately after this, however, a member of the Capulet family, Tybalt, bursts in, and begins to fight with Benvolio. The fight attracts others, including Old Capulet and his wife, Old Montague and his wife, and the Prince of Verona, Escalus. The Prince commands these rebellious subjects to stop breaking the civil peace, complaining that these street battles have erupted on several occasions, and threatening lives of the combatants. Old Montague asks Benvolio about the cause of the argument at hand, but Lady Montague's concern is with their son, Romeo. ...read more.

Middle

Now the ''Star-crossed lovers are united and never to be parted. Act III Scene I The play's duel scene takes place in a public place of Verona. Benvolio says that they should lay low, for it is hot and the "Capels" are in the street. Mercutio says that Benvolio only anticipates a brawl because he is by nature a quarrelsome youth. The "Capels" do, in fact, arrive led by Tybalt who tests Mercutio's temper. Romeo appears, and Tybalt challenges him to a duel. But Romeo refuses to fight: even after Tybalt calls him a villain, Romeo wishes him well. Nevertheless, Mercutio is rankled by his friend's "dishonourable, vile submission!" He draws his sword and duels with Tybalt. Romeo intervenes, but this gives Tybalt the chance to stab Mercutio under Romeo's arm. Mercutio is mortally wounded and curses the Capulet and the Montague families with "a plague a' both houses." When Tybalt comes back, Romeo fights with him and Tybalt is slain. Romeo flees from punishment by the Prince, crying out that he is "fortune's fool." Along with Old Montague and Old Capulet, the Prince follows a group of citizens to the site of the mayhem. Benvolio recounts what has occurred. Recognizing that Tybalt was the instigator. The Prince spares Romeo from a death penalty, but banishes him from Verona (and Juliet) on pain of death. Both families in this scene express a lot of hate as the fight takes two victims. After Mercutio is mortally wounded he whispers, ''you shall find me a grave man''. He is saying that tomorrow I'll be dead and long buried. This upsets Romeo and he wants revenge. Before the fight with Tybalt Romeo offers peace. He says, "Good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own". Romeo is saying this because he doesn't want to hurt his new brother in law. This is because Romeo and Juliet are married. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo takes Paris' body further into the tomb and lays it alongside the "corpse" of his beloved Juliet. He stands over Juliet's body, saying that not even death can conquer her beauty. He kisses Juliet, takes the apothecary's swiftly acting potion and dies. Just then, Friar Laurence appears: trying to run to the tomb of the Capulets, the good cleric tripped and stumbled over tombstones and arrived too late to save Romeo from his rash suicide. He then enters the tomb just as Juliet wakes from her slumber. Friar Laurence tells Juliet that Romeo is dead. She takes Romeo's dagger from its sheath and stabs herself to death when Friar Laurence is distracted by some incidental noise. The Prince, the Capulets, and the Montagues then enter. Friar Laurence tells the Prince and the others about the failed plan to bring Romeo and Juliet together and of their tragic, mistaken suicides. The Prince chastises the heads of the warring families, declaring that it is their fault that this catastrophe has occurred. Old Montague and Old Capulet join hands; the feud is over, and they agree to construct golden statutes of Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo talks of Juliet he says, "Here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes this vault a feasting presence full of light". Although the tomb is gloomy and depressing, Juliet can still conquer darkness to light the vault. Conclusion At last the two families that have waged war on each other for so long have been brought together by death. It is weird that five people have to die in order for the two families to be friends? Love wins here because Romeo & Juliet are apparently going to spend eternity together and the Capulets and Montagues can finally live together in peace. In a better world maybe they would be known as 'The Capulgues!' The 'Star-crossed lovers are now together if this play were to end with love the victor. However, if you don't believe in life after death then I suppose they wouldn't be together, so hate would win. ...read more.

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