The Theme of Death in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

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The Theme of Death in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Often times, authors use the theme of death throughout their works. This seems to be true of William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. Throughout his play, Shakespeare uses death to move his story along. He does this with actual deaths, which cause problems for the lovers, and through premonitions and dreams of death. Both Juliet and her Romeo exhibit these premonitions/dreams. The use of death is immediately seen in the prologue of the play: "The fearful passage of their death-marked love…" (Shakespeare Pro. 9). The Prologue offers us the inevitable fate of the two lovers short and abrupt. During the first act of the play, we learn of the Capulet's ball, and of how the
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Before he is taken away, Mercutio says to Romeo, "Why the devil came you between us…A plague o' both your houses! They have made worms' meat of me. I have it, and soundly too. A plague!" (ll.102-103, 10106-108). Here, we see Mercutio cursing the two houses, and, in essence, foreboding things to come. Mercutio is taken to a near house to be treated, and moments later, Romeo is informed of Mercutio's death. Romeo, now enraged, duels with Tybalt and slays him. The Prince arrives upon the scene, and after an account of the happenings, banishes Romeo to Mantua upon penalty of death. This banishment of Romeo's inevitably leads to even greater problems later in the play. In III, ii, Juliet prophesizes bad things to come when she says, "Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine…" (ll.21-23). The Nurse enters and informs Juliet that Tybalt has been slain by Romeo. Juliet looks at the situation as the death of both the men, as Romeo's banishment is like a death. III, iii is moved to the Friar's cell, where Romeo is exhibiting his self-pity to the Friar. At the conclusion of the scene, in a reaction of brass judgement, Romeo demands the Friar tell him what part of the body his name is, so he may cut it out with a knife he has drawn. This seems to imply Romeo's desire to be dead, rather than be without Juliet. Initially, at the beginning of this scene, Capulet

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