William Shakespeare 's Romeo And Juliet Essay

1080 Words Aug 25th, 2015 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 by their own choices or by pure chance. Shakespearean tragedies are a hybrid of Medieval and Greek tragedies. In Medieval tragedies, the protagonist’s downfall comes by fate or chance, whereas in Greek tragedy, the protagonist’s downfall comes purely from their own bad choices and their ‘fatal flaw’, e.g. hubris (excessive pride). In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo’s flaw is his haste, for example, he marries Juliet after only knowing her for less than 48 hours. “Hᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ɢɪᴠᴇɴ ᴜᴘ sᴏ ǫᴜɪᴄᴋʟʏ ᴏɴ Rᴏsᴀʟɪɴᴇ, ᴡʜᴏᴍ ʏᴏᴜ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ sᴏ ᴍᴜᴄʜ?” (2.3.66-67 (Friar)). In his haste, Romeo also murders Tybalt in revenge for the murder of Mercutio, his close friend, which in turn lead to him being banished from the city. The style of medieval tragedy also plays a…

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