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Trace and discuss the development of Romeo and Juliet from young adolescents to tragic heroes at the end of the play.

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Introduction

Trace and discuss the development of Romeo and Juliet from young adolescents to tragic heroes at the end of the play. Romeo is the young son of the Montagues. The first impressions we get of him are as a moody adolescent who has refused to inform his parents of his reason for spending 'many a morning' in the 'covet of the wood'. He later tells his friends Benvolio and Mercutio that he is madly infatuated with the 'fair Rosaline' but that his love is unrequited, which is the cause of his despondency. His first speeches show how artificial his love is, as they are extravagant and hyperbolic, such as 'she hath Dian's wit' as Dian is the Goddess of hunting who avoided Cupid's arrows. This makes us think that Romeo's feelings are not too deep for Rosaline speaking his words are spoken from the mind, not the heart and in more in love with the idea of being in love. It is only once he has met Juliet that we see the real Romeo. We can see this in many ways, firstly through the language he uses. ...read more.

Middle

(Romeo): What shall I swear by? (Juliet): Do not swear at all; Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, Which is the god of my idolatry And I'll believe thee. The result of this is shown when he hears of his young wife. Romeo shows maturity when he acts in a practical manner, without hesitation, a quality we would have previously not associated with him. He shows this when giving Balthasar clear instructions. 'Hold, take this letter; early in the morning see thou deliver it to my lord and father.' Juliet, the only daughter of the Capulets, is 'fortnight and odd days' off being fourteen. Her first appearance in the play is in Act 1 Scene 3, where she shows the obedience to her mother, 'Madam, I am here, what is your will?' and her innocence when she tells her mother that she does not yet know the meaning of love but will 'look to like, if looking liking move.' Juliet matures greatly throughout the play, and the first signs are shown when she confesses her love for Romeo, who she had met that night. She possesses a new elegance to her speech, which is completely different from the short simple answers of the submissive Juliet we had been introduced to, contrasting with Romeo's elaborate style. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her speech before she takes the potion is effectively her death speech, where she shows her love and faith for Romeo. Her speech gives us glimpses of Juliet the child, as she her mind fills with fears being 'stifled in the vault', which are not thought through. 'How if, when I am laid into the tomb I wake before the time that Romeo Come redeem me?' She shows here her courage and how she is driven by her love for Romeo, overcoming all these fears for her love for her husband. Juliet's final words in the play show the new woman that she is, acting with great calmness when faced with death. '...Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger This is thy sheath; there rust and let me die.' Both Romeo and Juliet are tragic heroes as they reach their deaths. Their qualities, which make them great, are their downfall. As both are headstrong, and forced to make rash decisions against their family and society, and above all their love, which comes before everything else, makes them great heroes, yet this is the flaw in their characters, through which they are destroyed. ...read more.

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