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Who is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Pre Twentieth Century Drama Coursework Who is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? Romeo and Juliet is one of the oldest and best loved stories in the world. Shakespeare found the story in a narrative poem called The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke and adapted the poem for his own audiences. The story has been traced as far back as the third century AD and is set in Verona, Italy. The story tells of two young lovers, if they were any younger they would be classed as children, who find themselves between an ever-going family feud. They cannot understand the hatred of the older generation which keeps them far apart. Consequently they choose to disobey their parents' wishes, which leads to tragedy. As a result of this, they choose to die together instead of living without one another. When Shakespeare was born in 1564, Elizabeth I was the Queen of England. During the period of Elizabeth's reign ( 1558-1603 ) there were many beleifs about the order in society. Although, the head of the country was a female monarch ther was still unfairness and equal rights for the women of the country compared to the men. The average man had no vote and his wife had no rights at all. This was the case in all areas of life for a woman living in this particular period of time. Education was not available for girls as they had the need to stay at home and aquire domestic and social skills, i.e. cooking, cleaning, sewing and if lucky learn how to play an instument. Only the a small minority of girls had the advantage of learning to read and write, however this was very rare. The most common form of art of the Elizabethans was drama. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, plays were performed by actor, all of whom were male. ...read more.

Middle

My life is my foe's debt." (Act 1, Scene 5, 132), and "My only love sprung from my only hate." (Act 1, Scene 5, 152) were the two expressions that Romeo and Juliet said. Juliet had the right idea when she showed her frustration with the feud, and its influence on R&J's relationship, in her soliloquy on the balcony, and said, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet..." (Act 2, Scene 2, 41-52) Besides the fact that they probably would have never been able to live a peaceful life, none of the tragedies would have occurred had they not met in the first place. The scene, where the Montague's find out about the Capulet ball is another twist of fate. The servant of Capulet, who happens to be illiterate, was given the job of telling people about the party, but only those on a list written up by his master. Since he could not read, he was forced to ask two strangers to explain it to him. Those two people could have been anyone, but they just happened to be Romeo and Benvolio. When Juliet is "buried" twenty-four hours before Friar Lawrence planned, it gave Friar John less time to get the message to Romeo. Besides that, Balthasar came in on one day only to see how Juliet was doing. If Juliet would have been able to take the potion as scheduled, Balthasar would have seen Juliet doing well and been able to come back to Romeo with good news. Romeo would not have bought the poison and commit suicide. Friar Lawrence would have sent another messenger and all would have been well. The most obvious example of fate was the quarantine in Mantua. Friar Lawrence's plan was that Juliet would be laid in the tomb, appearing to be dead, and when she woke up, Romeo would be there to meet her. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Act 2 Scene 4). Even with the words of warning she proceeds in telling Romeo where he can meet Juliet. She encouraged Juliet in her romantic ideas. Encouraging Juliet's dangerous relationship with Romeo in the hope that it will make Juliet happy. After Tybalt's death, however, Nurse becomes less sympathetic and later when Capulet orders Juliet to marry Paris, she defends Juliet at first but later sensibly suggests that Paris would not be so bad after all. She advised Juliet to marry Paris even though she knew that she was married to Romeo. " I think you are happy in this second match, For it excels your first" (Act 3 Scene 5) she says. This shows her act of desperation and puts strain and pressure on Juliet as she thought the Nurse was the only one who understood her relationship with Romeo, but this statement appeared to be wrong. The play was very effective even though we had the knowledge that it was going to end in tragedy from the very first page. This is due to the events that takes place which lead to the tragedy. It this interesting when reading the play it is still entertaining and appealing event though the outcome is clear. It is enjoyable for the audience as they are able to see the order of events and each circumstance growing closer and closer to the end of the tragic play. The play is very well written with suspense, anticipation and the worry of what is going to happen next. Shakespeare has written the play to make every character's actions seen as though they are the ones who are truly respnsible for the tragic deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. It is very difficult to pick out one individual charcter as in my opinion all the main characters seem to fall into the catergory. William Shakespeare has done a great job in adapting the poem to this brilliant and every popular play which is still regarded as one of the best stories even today, leaving the audience wonder the question of what if? 1 ...read more.

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