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Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a play that tells the love story of "Two star crossed lovers" who unfortunately were not meant to be together, Romeo being a Montague and Juliet being a Capulet, are both from different families, sworn to be enemies. Shakespeare's play has remained so popular due to the juxtaposition of the romance and tragedy. The play's popularity can be seen in its many performances in theatres and the numerous versions of the film.In this essay I am going to analyze the way that the story changes from romance to tragedy, because of the way the characters act and how this impacts and leads to the tragic ending with two young lovers dying.
In Act 3 scene 1, Tybalt, who earlier in the play wanted to start a fight with Romeo when he saw him at the Capulet ball, challenges Romeo to a duel, Romeo refuses saying:"…The reason that I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage…therefore farewell"
Romeo's attitude has changed because he is now married to Juliet and therefore he is related to Tybalt. Mercutio is outraged and to defend Romeo's honour, he draws his sword. He and Tybalt fight whilst Romeo attempts to break them apart, but fails and Mercutio is wounded badly, but even as he is at the point of death he is witty and sarcastic:"…Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man."
This quote demonstrates Mercutio's spirit which we have seen throughout the play. However, his sense of humour doesn't last because he realizes that he is going to die. His repetition of:"A plague a' both your houses!"
Shows how angry he is and displays a hypercritical nature because at first he was prepared and willing to be involved with the fight, but once he was fatally wounded he changed by cursing both Romeo and Tybalt. Romeo's mood changes immediately when Benvolio leaves the scene with Mercutio and even more so when Benvolio comes back with news "Mercutio is dead.""The day's black fate on mo days doth depend; this but begins the woe others must end"
Romeo wants revenge on Tybalt because he has taken the life of Mercutio and therefore he kills Tybalt. Romeo rushes away and the prince comes to the place where Mercutio and Tybalt were slain. Lady Capulet demands Romeo should be put to death, but as Montague points out:"His fault concludes what the law should end, the life of Tybalt"
Romeo had ended what the Prince would have finished, the life of Tybalt who he would have been put to death due for the murder of Mercutio. As a result of this Romeo was not killed, instead he was banished from Verona."Let Romeo hence in haste, else, when he is found, that hour will be his last."
For Romeo banishment was worse than death, for the reason that banishment was a permanent ban from Juliet.The mood changes in this scene from a romantic story where the play seems it might end "happily ever after" to a crazy, dramatic story where in a short time the whole thing goes off beam for the young couple.
The events of Act 3 scene 1 change the main characters to where Romeo and Juliet are eager to do no matter what, even sacrifice their own lives. Old Capulet and Lady Capulet decided, with the heartache of the loss of Tybalt, that the County Paris was the one Juliet should marry."Marry my child, early next Thursday morn… The County Paris at Saint Peter's Church shall happily make thee there a joyful bride."
Juliet's parents were proud that Paris was prepared to marry their precious daughter. He was rich and also a member of royalty. Juliet is irritated and annoyed with this suggestion."He shall not make me there a joyful bride."
At this point Juliet is enraged because she is already married and madly in love with Romeo. However, Juliet's parents are unaware of this fact and are oblivious to why she is refusing such an elegant young prosperous man. Hot-headed and angry Capulet and Lady Capulet disown their daughter."Get thee to church a' Thursday or never talk to me again…"
Friar Lawrence knows the whole story about Romeo and Juliet's secret. The day he married the two, his intentions were good, he thought the marriage may have ended the feud between the Montague's and the Capulet's, but when Romeo is banished, Friar Lawrence had a new plan"…Borrow'd likeness of shrunk death thou shalt continue two and forty hours, and then awake as from a pleasant sleep."
Friar Lawrence was incredibly talented in making potions. His idea was to give Juliet a sleeping potion that gave the appearance of death for forty two hours. She would be placed in the family crypt to wait for her true love to come for her.From a dramatic point of view, Act 3 scene 1 plays a very important role in the play as a whole because it's the highest point of the play, where things most go wrong for the couple. Throughout Act 1 and Act 2 there was a romantic feeling and wishful hopes for the future of Romeo and Juliet, but as the play progressed their whole lives go hopelessly wrong and it comes to seem impossible for them to be together. This is what holds the audience's interest in wanting to find out what happens.
Friar Lawrence plays a main part throughout the play. He made many mistakes and could have handled the situation better. He married Romeo and Juliet straight away without their parents consent or taking any thought of the consequences to come. Romeo is banished and it is arranged for Paris to marry Juliet. Friar Lawrence builds an extremely over dramatic plan: Juliet is to have the appearance of death; the Capulet family is to be distraught just so Romeo and Juliet could be together. The letter that is meant to be received by Romeo does not reach him in time, because Romeo's servant (Balthazar) got there before Friar John did with the letter and Balthazar told Romeo that his lady Juliet was dead:"…Then she is well, and nothing can be ill; her body sleeps in Capel's monument."
Yet another plan by Friar Lawrence fails. Of course Romeo rushes off, therefore missing the letter. Although Friar Lawrence seems to be the main cause for the death of Romeo and Juliet their parents also have a massive responsibility. The two sets of parents are grown up, mature enough to stop the feud and get on, but they didn't and in the end it took the lives of their children. If they had taken a step back and looked at themselves they would see how immature and childish they were. They didn't even pay enough attention to see that their children were sneaking off and falling in love, so therefore I believe that the main cause of Romeo and Juliet's death is their own parents and family.In conclusion to this essay; the play as a whole is full of irony, for example the littlest thing could have been changed and everything would have worked, maybe if Juliet had told her parents about Romeo or if Romeo had waited just a bit longer when Balthazar came to see him maybe Romeo would have received the letter that Friar Lawrence sent him. Also a lot of suspense in this play the key scene in the middle holds the audiences interest because it is where the greatest tension appears. It made me wonder if they were going to end up together and left me wanting to read on.
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