It is my opinion that no one person can be held responsible for the tragic deaths of the two lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Rather it is a combination of people and circumstances that contrive to form a tragic ending.

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Introduction

Final Draft for Coursework assignment. It is my opinion that no one person can be held responsible for the tragic deaths of the two lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Rather it is a combination of people and circumstances that contrive to form a tragic ending. Obviously, Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, and thus has all the generic features of a tragedy; that there is a fatal flaw on the part of the main characters, in this case their passionate love at first sight for each other, "Did my heart love 'till now?" This passionate love means the two lovers cannot be separated, and their desperation to be together could be the reason for their plight. Alternatively, it could also be argued that Shakespeare built up dramatic expectation, via prophetic fallacy and short scenes accelerating to a climax, that the death was necessary as a dramatic ending. This structure can be clearly seen throughout the play as a whole as Shakespeare uses lower status characters (talking in prose) usually to speed up the pace, using riots and conflicts, whereas he uses the higher status characters (talking in verse) at balls or parties to slow down the pace and deepen the play. Therefore, due to Shakespeare's deliberately convoluted plot, it is imperative to discuss each topic in turn, evaluating how and to what extent, each factor was responsible; starting with, arguably, one of the most important reasons; fate, or chance.

Middle

This first scene cleverly reflects Act 3 scene 1, but Shakespeare has changed the roles so that Romeo discards his pacifist views and is provoked into " fire-eyed fury." When Shakespeare draws references to Italy, he may be reflecting the traditional, and rather stereotypical, view of Italians as all having private vendettas or feuds. However, to a certain extent it works as Shakespeare is using a literary technique of setting the events in a place the Elizabethan audience would not know about apart from what they've been told. In particular, by leaving the facts unclear about the "ancient grudge," one begins to feel that perhaps there wasn't one, or that it has escalated out f all control. This is used for dramatic irony, as it is in inverse proportion to the amount of destruction incurred by the end of the final scene, "all are punished!" Another reason which Shakespeare decided to introduce was the Friar's own motives. He says, to Romeo, that he wants to " turn your household's rancour to pure love", but he seems wary to allow the lovers to wed in public and appears more intent of the joining of the two households than that the two lovers are together, "for this alliance may so happy prove".

Conclusion

It can be argued that the structure of the play therefore reflects the pair's turbulent relations as when they are harmonious the pace is slowed, and this is then sped up when the two are desperately seeking each other. Perhaps the tragic ending is Shakespeare's way of rebuking both "love at first sight" and the artificial, chivalric love between Rosaline and Romeo. In conclusion, as can be seen from the discussed reasons; there are, as with all of Shakespeare's plays a multitude of factors, which are all equally valid and viable. Also, all of Shakespeare's language is intentional, so he is able to cleverly link both individual passages and whole scenes to the play as a whole. However, Shakespeare emphasises some more than others and in this respect I believe it is fate, which is the most predominantly mentioned of the factors. This is consistently mentioned by Shakespeare and lends itself to the play as a whole well. As previously discussed it lends a feeling of impending doom, and inevitable tragedy to the play. This factor could have become too linear, so Shakespeare introduced the idea of chance, which adds a random and chaotic air to the play. Also, all of Shakespeare's language is intentional, so he is able to cleverly link both individual passages and whole scenes to the play as a whole. Craig Brown 10h

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