Shakespeare’s theory of tragedy is one in which the protagonists are led to their untimely death, usually because of inescapable fate, character flaws and harrowing sorrow. The well-known tragedy, Romeo and Juliet is one of many that fulfil this definition. It incorporates fate as well as character flaws and great sorrow.
Fate in Romeo and Juliet plays a central role in many of the character’s lives. The audience is presented with the idea that the lives of the characters are controlled by a higher power. Fate is the reason why the two lovers met. Had the servant been literate, the two lovers would never have been together. It so happens that Romeo read the list of guests and was invited to ‘come and crush a …show more content…
Many characters’ lives were lost due to the forbidden love between the two lovers. Mercutio’s death in 3.1 was the turning point of the play, his death led to many other deaths. Soon after Mercutio’s death, Romeo declared, ‘This day’s black fate on more days doth depend; / this but begins the woe others must end.’ This is somewhat true, as five more deaths soon followed. However, the two warring families were finally united together by their grief at the end of the play. In revenge for Mercutio’s death, Romeo rushed to kill Tybalt, which led to his banishment from Verona. His exile caused Lady Montague to die in grief for ‘there is no world without Verona walls’ (3.3.18) Romeo has always lived in Verona and all his connections and family are in Verona. Lady Montague most likely died because she feared Romeo would not be able to live on his own. The play ends tragically with Count Paris, Juliet and Romeo lying together side by side, forever asleep.
Whilst there are divergent takes on the play itself, Romeo and Juliet, it is still undeniably a tragedy that conforms to all the criteria. Shakespeare uses the theme of fate, character flaws and great sorrow to lead the audience to believe that there ‘never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’