Romeo And Juliet Identity Analysis

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Romeo and Juliet: The Tragedy of Identity

Identity is a distinctive part of every human being, and is initially formed at the very beginning of one’s life by their name, and further molded by their surroundings. People frequently try to change their identity into an alternate, or seemingly “better” one. Doing this, however, can lead to devastating consequences. Such is the case of the doomed lovers in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Characters in the play rebel against their identities, by pushing through boundaries and tearing away labels and stereotypes, in order to achieve the things they desire. When they finally break away from those identities, conflicts arise. These new battles ultimately end in calamity. The characters in
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Initially, Juliet’s rebellion against her identity causes conflict between herself and her parents, who are adamant that she should marry Paris. Capulet’s rage heightens when Juliet tries to give him reasons for her defiance, as he demands “How how, how how, chopt-logic? What is this?” (3.5.149). Capulet distrusts Juliet’s ‘chopt’ (3.5.149) arguments, and also seems to have an inability to be at peace with her. Juliet’s rebellion enrages her father to a degree to which he becomes cruel and disbelieving of anything that she has to say. Therefore, when forsaking her identity by defying her father, Juliet causes a conflict of trust between the two of them, thereby putting Capulet in a suspicious state of mind. Likewise, Romeo’s broken identity results in a monstrous conflict. His determination for peace with Tybalt, is the opposite of what Mercutio- Romeo’s loyal friend- has in mind, who rather thinks of this approach, as “calm, dishonourable, vile submission!” (3.1.70). When Romeo tries to show love for Tybalt and refuses to fight, Mercutio’s fatal flaw, his hot-headedness, emerges. Therefore, Romeo’s defiance against his initial identity as a Montague, and the appearance of his new peaceful one, leads to an extreme conflict between Mercutio and Tybalt. Lastly, due to their rebellion against their identities, conflict arises between Capulet and his wife, and Juliet, because of their suddenly changed views on love. There …show more content…
Personified “Death” thrives on the conflict that follows when one rebels against identity. To begin with, Juliet and Romeo’s tragic deaths are mainly brought about by Juliet’s rebellion. Her fight with Capulet (ending in a false compromise) comes with consequences, as are made known when Friar Lawrence cries “Unhappy fortune! […] / The letter was not nice but full of charge, / Of dear import, and the neglecting it / May do much danger” (5.2.17-20) about the letter which is sent to Romeo too late. The conflict between Juliet and her parents causes her marriage to Paris to be set a day earlier than expected, which is due to her father’s lack of faith in her obedience. The Friar’s letter, sent a day early, causes confusion for the two lovers, and is ultimately the cause of Juliet and Romeo’s tragic demise. Equally, Romeo’s change of identity and the following conflicts contributed to his own death, but were more so the cause of the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt. By bringing out Mercutio’s hot-headedness, and stepping between the two in order to enforce his new love for the Capulets, he gives chance for Tybalt to “… [hit] the life / Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt [flees]; / But by and by comes back to Romeo, / Who [has] but newly entertain’d revenge, / And [...] [is] stout Tybalt slain…” (3.1.164-169). The conflict that was brought about by interference of Romeo, leads to the creation of two murderers: Tybalt, and Romeo himself,

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