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

What makes Romeo & Juliet a tragedy and who/what is responsible?

Extracts from this document...


Shakespeare Essay Romeo and Juliet What makes 'Romeo and Juliet' a tragedy and who or what is responsible for it? Tragedy is one of the key genres illustrated in Romeo and Juliet. There are always certain actions which lead to tragic consequences. Also, a number of deaths take place and the greatest of them are the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. However, you cannot blame only one certain thing or individual for the tragic consequences which occur in the play. Various characters and elements contribute to the catastrophic events. Also, certain actions and attitudes of characters result in negative outcomes even when it could have been avoided. In addition to this point, fate also plays a great role in the happenings of the play. To begin with, the two families, Montague and Capulet, have been locked in a feud for many long years. From this element, all the other misfortunes begin to unfold. And then moving onto the main basis of the story; the "pair of star-cross'd lovers" who are Romeo and Juliet both from opposite households fall in love and are restricted to do so freely and are not able to be together. This in itself is tragic and unbearable for the two young people who are in love. If the feud hadn't been persistent for the many years it has been, Romeo and Juliet would never have had to keep their marriage and love a secret. ...read more.


The Nurse tells Juliet to marry Paris after Romeo's banishment which is bigamy and a sin at the time which the play is set in. In Act 3, scene 5, line 217 she says: "I think it best you marry the county". She changes her mind and tells Juliet to forget about Romeo and marry Paris. After this, Juliet has no hope and has suicidal thoughts. Friar Laurence is a man of good intentions. He will always look on the bright side of things. The following quote implies that Friar Laurence hopes that by marrying Romeo and Juliet, the violence between the house of Montague and Capulet will come to an end. "In one respect I'll thy assistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your household rancour to pure love." (Act 2, scene 3, lines 90-92). He is a character who aids both Romeo and Juliet throughout the whole play. Choices he made determined the outcome of the whole play and had he made different choices, the play may not have ended the way it did. Had the Friar not wedded Romeo and Juliet, the tragedy would not have occurred. Also, because of his giving of the potion to Juliet, Romeo wouldn't have killed himself, and seeing him dead, Juliet wouldn't have committed suicide either. Mercutio is to blame for persuading Romeo to go to the ball of the Capulets. ...read more.


A chain of events build up and lead to the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet. However, fate is also a key element which comes into the plot. This is because things happen according to fate and destiny and it can't be avoided. On the other hand, it is the choice and free-will of certain individuals that cause the negative outcomes to take place. It was according to fate that the servant finds Romeo and tells him to read out the invitation. Romeo goes to the Capulets' ball and experiences love at first sight with Juliet. Fate made the letter from Friar Laurence to Romeo fail to be delivered and therefore causing a mix-up of plans. And like so, Juliet wakes too late from her 'fake death' to find that her lover - Romeo, is dead. And seeing her beloved lying dead, she feels that there is no point of living if her lover is gone. So therefore, in hope of there being a reunion with her Romeo, she takes her own life. I don't think that it was only one certain character who was responsible. For each occurrence, there is a different character which could be blamed. A chain of events slowly build up the tragedy and finally result in both Romeo and Juliet to take their own lives for each other. From the beginning, fate had decided that the 'star cross'd lovers' are doomed, which meant that there will be a great tragedy. Therefore, "there never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo." ...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. Who is responsible for the final tragedy in romeo and juliet

    Out you baggage! You tallow-face!" She then turns to her faithful nurse who says that she should marry Paris and forget Romeo. This is the consequence of disobeying her parents decision, if in the first place she had listened to her parents non of this would have happened, her family would have had power and

  2. Are Romeo And Juliet Responsible For Their Own Demise

    the suggestion of why she did die, thus I believe he forgets to regard the dim actions he had performed (him killing Tybalt) that might have somehow contributed to the terrible demise. This also indicates he has little faith in Juliet but Romeo was in a sudden shock where he possibly could not have been thinking properly.

  1. To what extent do you consider Friar Laurence to be responsible for the tragedy ...

    An implication may be that he is a selfish character who is worrying about self-preservation, which explains his endeavoured reasoning. If this was the case then this may be a sign of doubt in the Friar's mind, yet this does not diminish the blame.

  2. 'Discuss the role of parents and parent substitutes in Romeo and Juliet. How responsible ...

    shows her determination to see the wedding take place, with no regard for the feelings of her only daughter. Another character seemingly involved in neglecting Juliet is the Nurse. She is a foster-mother to Juliet, having been her companion since the time of her birth and is closest to the

  1. What makes Romeo and Juliet a tragedy, and who or what is responsible for ...

    When Romeo tells friar Laurence that he is going to marry Juliet (act two scene three lines 58-65) friar Laurence doesn't hesitate to agree. He believes that if the two could come together then it could end the feud that has plagued the city of Verona for years.

  2. Romeo and Juliet - Who/what is resposible for their deaths

    Perhaps, however, the fight initiated by Mercutio that hapless day was inevitable: could it be that Romeo was somehow destined to be exiled? The Nurse, Juliet's committed servant who treated her almost like a daughter, changed the course of events by going behind Lord and Lady Capulet's backs.

  1. What makes Romeo and Juliet a tragedy, and who or what is responsible for ...

    As the play continues, we see Lord Capulet being dominating over his daughter, Juliet because he wants her to marry Country Paris, 'But fettle your joints 'gainst Thursday next to go with Paris to Saint Peter's church, or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. Out, you green-sickness carrion!

  2. Romeo & Juliet - Who is responsible inMaking the play a tragedy.

    This is how deep the feud is. We also know how deep the feud runs. Tybalt is Juliet's cousin but he still detests the Montagues as much as any of the Capulet's family. He definitely does not hide his true feelings about the feud.

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