Theme Of Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet

1080 Words 5 Pages
It is a long-standing debate on whether the popular Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy or a love story. Even though the play ends with both protagonists committing suicide, scholars argue that Romeo and Juliet contains too much romance and comedy to be called a tragedy, while as others argue that the eventual suicide, allusion to Greek tragedies, and foreshadowing prove this play to be a tragedy. This is what we will discuss in this essay and it is up to you to form your own opinion.

Shakespearean tragedies are a genre in their own right, Romeo and Juliet being one of them. These tragedies depict the main protagonist with some sort of [eventually fatal] flaw, and this flaw eventually leads to their downfall and/or death either
…show more content…
The amount of foreshadowing in the play alludes to the fact that the central message in Romeo and Juliet is not in fact true love, but how your actions can affect others in a bad way; in this play it means that the feuding between the Montague and Capulet families ends in Romeo’s and Juliet’s death. One example of foreshadowing by Friar Laurence is “Tʜᴇsᴇ ᴠɪᴏʟᴇɴᴛ ᴅᴇʟɪɢʜᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴠɪᴏʟᴇɴᴛ ᴇɴᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴛʀɪᴜᴍᴘʜ ᴅɪᴇ, ʟɪᴋᴇ ғɪʀᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘᴏᴡᴅᴇʀ” (2.6.9-10 (Friar)). What the Friar is saying is that albeit Romeo and Juliet are jubilant with their sudden marriage, they are moving too quickly and it is going to end badly for them. This proves to be correct as the play ends with their suicide. In the prologue at the beginning of the play, the audience is told that the play ends with the protagonists’ death; not in a happily ever after romantic way. “A ᴘᴀɪʀ ᴏғ sᴛᴀʀ-ᴄʀᴏssᴇᴅ ʟᴏᴠᴇʀs ᴛᴀᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ʟɪғᴇ, Wʜᴏsᴇ ᴍɪsᴀᴅᴠᴇɴᴛᴜʀᴇᴅ ᴘɪᴛᴇᴏᴜs ᴏᴠᴇʀᴛʜʀᴏᴡs, Dᴏᴛʜ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ ʙᴜʀʏ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ' sᴛʀɪғᴇ.” (1.0.6-8 (Chorus)). This blatant ‘spoiler’ was very common in the 17th century as audiences did not like to be put in suspense about what was happening at the end. By telling of the unfortunate suicides of Romeo and Juliet, it was marking this play as a tragedy right at the …show more content…
Romeo is melancholic at the beginning of the play in Act I due to Rosaline’s rejecting of him, and Romeo proceeds to pronounce his undying love for her. “Oᴜᴛ ᴏғ ʜᴇʀ ғᴀᴠᴏʀ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ I ᴀᴍ ɪɴ ʟᴏᴠᴇ.” (1.1.158 (Romeo)). This starts the tale of romance throughout Romeo and Juliet, as Benvolio convinces Romeo goes to Capulet’s ball to see that there are other girls than Rosaline, and it is at the ball that Romeo meets Juliet. “Gᴏ ᴛʜɪᴛʜᴇʀ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴜɴᴀᴛᴛᴀɪɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴇʏᴇ, Cᴏᴍᴘᴀʀᴇ ʜᴇʀ ғᴀᴄᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ sᴏᴍᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ I sʜᴀʟʟ sʜᴏᴡ.” (1.2.86-87 (Benvolio)). Romeo only attends the ball though so that he can see Rosaline again. Without romance, this play would have no story and have nothing to provide tension or character

Related Documents