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To what extent is Romeo and Juliet a good example of Shakespeare's view of tragedy? Shakespeare's view of tragedy is a mix of the classical 'fate' idea and his own

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To what extent is Romeo and Juliet a good example of Shakespeare's view of tragedy? Shakespeare's view of tragedy is a mix of the classical 'fate' idea and his own, what would have been considered modern, 'freewill' view. In Romeo and Juliet he utilises both of these ideas as specific individuals and in combination. The plot is also a complicated one because we have to take so many factors into consideration in order to understand the complexities of the web in which Romeo and Juliet are trapped. The absence of sub-plots ensures that throughout the 'two hours traffic' involving the immediate problem subject: the feud, our attention is firmly fixed on the fate of the young lovers, and ultimately summons the theme: love conquers hate. The first example of this is in The Prologue, which in itself is a classical precipitate. It reveals the story of the 'star crossed lovers' to the audience in advance. This understanding allows a synopsis of the actions of Romeo and Juliet: struggling to attain happiness without the knowledge that they are fated to fail. Although this knowledge of their certain deaths adds pathos to the audience's view of events, it gives the play, from the onset, a feeling of doom. This reflects the irony of the plays theme (love conquers hate) because The Prologue takes the form of a sonnet, which is a characteristic Elizabethan form of love poetry. ...read more.


As he and his friends are on their way to the Capulets ball he expresses his suspicion that 'some consequence yet hanging in the stars, shall bitterly begin his fearful date, with this night's revels,' He seems to foresee his own death here, which ends the scene with a sense of foreboding and a prophecy yet to be elucidated to the characters. Although, Friar Lawrence is a character prone to a degree of conscious prophetic awareness, as is apparent in his attempt to persuade Romeo to be patient in his love for Juliet: because he is conscious that 'these violent delights have violent ends.' It is prophetic in that, the lovers' passions are short-lived and Romeo and Juliet's love does destroy them both. Throughout the play it is those with a high social status that bestow the prophetic commentary. Towards the end when Paris thinks Romeo has come to the vault to pursue the family feud by revenging himself on Juliet's body, he interrupts Romeo and with, admittedly, unconscious irony tells him 'thou must die.' It is also here that he asks one of the play's central philosophical questions: 'can vengeance be pursu'd further than death?' This is equally relatable to the religious aspect of the play which is significant in relevance because many images in the play stem from the key religious ideas of the time. Romeo and Juliet's first meeting has to be sensational, their first words are a sonnet which they share and create: Romeo compliments her, and she shows her virtuous behaviour. ...read more.


They enjoyed the fun of sexual and social intrigue, particularly in the context of city life. Young men fall in love, often with wealthy heiresses. The nurse's observation that 'he that can lay hold of her (Juliet) shall have the chinks' suggests a common enough motive for love at that or any time. In such respects Romeo and Juliet is a typical example of the European comic tradition. And so it is entirely fitting that a immortal tragedy, with the wit and comic genius rarely found in successful tragedies, should take as its backdrop in 'fair Verona', in one of the homes of classical civilisation, where passion and heat coexist within society. It is the long summer days that create passionate hot blooded Italians, that also create lethargic hot blooded men sick of monotony who easily have 'the mad blood stirring' and then street fighting in the heat of summer. Although it is those lest likely to be affected by it that can see this possibility: as is true here with Benvolio. This is a specific character role; although his name literally means well-wisher, throughout the play he displays a peace making quality. In Romeo and Juliet it is the characters with eponyms with the most obvious roles to play, but the ones with characternym's, character specific roles to play. It is Tybalt that is, a relatively one dimensional character in contrast with Mercutio and Benvolio, the member of the younger generation actively continuing the feud 'talk of peace! I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montague's and thee. ...read more.

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