Last Updated 05 Aug 2020

Romeo and Juliet are partially responsible for their demise essay

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William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, is a play that reveals Romeo and Juliet are partially responsible for their own demise. The tragic death of Romeo and Juliet ultimately leads to the reconciliation of their feuding families. The responsibility is displayed by many themes and characters throughout the play. Set in the sixteenth century Verona, Italy, this allows the playwright to indirectly critique the Elizabethan society. This relates to the Elizabethan era, when many people met their demise by their emotions and other people; this reflects how characters were killed during the play. Shakespeare displays his critiques in many ways, such as the feuding families, which is explored throughout the play. Other than emotions, the playwright reveals that other characters, such as Friar Lawrence, can be the cause of another’s death. Through the characterisation of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare argues that their own emotions are to blame for their demise. Shakespeare prompts his Elizabethan audience to consider that Romeo and Juliet are partially responsible for their own demise.

The feuding families are partially responsible for the eponymous characters’ deaths. This is because the feud prevents Romeo and Juliet from loving each other in public. It is through the phrase, “from forth the fatal loins of these two foes”, that Shakespeare presents this view. The alliteration of ‘f’ emphasises the diction of “fatal”. This allows the playwright to prompt the Elizabethan audience to feel sad that Romeo and Juliet’s deaths were partially due to the feuding families because they couldn’t love each other publicly. Shakespeare works through an effort to show that because of the feuding families, Tybalt and Mercutio were killed; this Results in Romeo getting banished. This is made clear when Tybalt proclaims, “this shall bit excuse the injuries that thou hast done me; therefore, turn and draw.” It is in the diction “injuries” that implies how the feuding families caused these metaphorical injuries. Shakespeare tries to reveal how when people are too careless, they often realize their mistakes too late and pay dearly. This is made clear when Capulet agrees that he is guilty, “Poor sacrifices of our enmity!” it is in the diction “enmity” that indicates how careless he was too feud against the Montagues for so long, and not realize what was happening to people around him. Overall, the feuding families is an important reason why Romeo and Juliet fell to their demise.

Friar Lawrence is a character that is partially responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s Demise, there are many reasons for this, for instance, it is though the phrase, “For this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households’ rancour to pure love.” That Shakespeare presents the Friars motive to actually marry Romeo and Juliet. The syntax “to turn your households’ rancor to pure love” allows the playwright to prompt the Elizabethan audience to feel that the reason that the Friar is agreeing to marry them is because it may stop the feuding families; however he is rushing things and is not acting “wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”. Shakespeare works through an effort to explain that because the friar is being too careless, he is not thinking everything through and is not even going to confirm the plan with Romeo. This is made clear when the friar states: “In the meantime, against thou shalt awake, Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift, and hither shall he come.” It is in the syntax “Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift” allows Shakespeare to reveal that the friar is being extremely careless and is not using his head. Shakespeare reveals that when people are selfish, they can often cause trouble and it’s a bad human quality,

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William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, is a play that reveals Romeo and Juliet are partially responsible for their own demise. The responsibility of who was responsible were important to the Elizabethan audience as many people blamed others for their own responsibilities. It is through the feuding families, the characterization of Friar Lawrence and Romeo and Juliet’s bad decisions and emotions that the playwright’ is able to present the responsibilities of Romeo and Juliet’s demise. The responsibility is articulated from the plays exposition to its denouement. A quote that explains the responsibility is when Prince Escalus states: “Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; some shall be pardoned, and some shall be punished. For never was a story of more woe than this if Juliet and her Romeo.” Due to this, the Elizabethan audience is aware of how the responsibility of Romeo and Juliet deaths are not just their own fault and others have a role to play as well. Overall, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy which uncovers Romeo and Juliet’s partial responsibility for their own demise.

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