Juliet discovers the body of Romeo and realizes what he has done. She drinks the poison and dies also. As others arrive on the scene, Lord Capulet and Lord Montague also enter. They learn the truth of the tragic events from Friar Laurence and the suicide letter from Romeo provides proof. The two rival families agree to settle their differences and form an alliance as a result of the tragedy. At first Romeo is characterized by his self-indulgent melancholy, characteristics which would have signaled a romantic quality as well as a tragic flaw for Elizabethan audiences.
As he is smitten by Juliet he becomes more active and assumes his role as a true tragic figure. His fall and death are quintessential tragic modes. He operates as a tragic type more than a fully developed character. He is the sign of paternal power and the figure-head of a ruling family embroiled in a bitter feud.
Also something of a type rather than a developed character. She is the maternal figure, and embodiment of feminine maturity and grace. She even dies of a broken heart at the loss of her son. Obviously, as a symbol of the church, Friar Laurence is a representative of peace and reconciliation, although his efforts are clumsy and ineffective.
His intention at first is to resolve the feud through the union of Romeo and Juliet. When that fails, he attempts to re-unite them with a scheme which fails.
It is ultimately the failed scheme which leads to their deaths and a general reconciliation between the families. A young noble lady, an image of innocence, Juliet is also willful and rebellious. These latter traits are tragic flaws for an Elizabethan audience. She is forceful and intelligent in her designs, at times more in control of the action that Romeo. Her decision to commit suicide is in many ways evocative of a masculine hero. She is the counter to Lady Montague. He is hot-headed and rash.
His violent tendencies embody and enact the theme of hate and violence which runs along the themes of love. His anger leads to his own death and to the death of Mercutio.
The ruler of Venice, he is the figure of law and state authority. Even as he attempts to control the violence and discord in the play, the human passions of love and hate outstrip his authority and power. Mercutio demonstrates wit and intelligence in the early parts of the play, perhaps to dramatize the power of the mind over the passions. His death in Act II marks the turning point in the play in which the action runs headlong toward tragic ends.
A noble young lord and apparent suitor to Juliet. Paris is the epitome of an arrogant young man, one who assumes his place of privilege. As much as Romeo is driven by love and passion, Paris is driven by pride and selfishness.
His arrogance leads to his own death at the hands of Romeo. Love as a romantic Ideal: Love as a theme plays out as a passionate force that cannot be ignored or controlled. Romeo falls in love with Juliet at first sight and every other consideration, including his own safety or even his own life, is immediately forgotten for the pursuit of romantic love. She too falls in love at first sight and is single-minded in her love for Romeo.
To this extent, love is a wild and uncontrollable passion, one that seems to exist outside of any human agency or control. It operates like a kind of magic which overtakes the characters beyond their control. Love in this theme is romantic and beautiful and it is one of the primary sources for contemporary portrayals of love.
This passionate and romantic love captures individuals and pits them against their circumstances, their families, and all of their cultural constraints. Love as a violent passion: Love in Romeo and Juliet is also the catalyst for much of the violence.
As much as love captivates the two lovers, it also fuels the passions which lead to duels and murder. If love is an uncontrollable force which launches two young people toward and inevitable union, it is also a destructive passion which causes discord and violence.
The rancor between the Capulets and Montagues is barely under control with the intercession of Escalus. Passionate love is the primary force which breaks that fragile peace. As the primary characters are put in action, each takes on a role which is in direct tension with their role as members of a social strata.
Romeo is the son of a nobleman; his duty is to adhere to the patriarchal line and assume the role of a leader. His functions in society are prescribed by this role. As he is overtaken by his love for Juliet, he abandons this role and follows his individual inclinations and passions. The resulting discord is as much a result of this tension between the individual and the demands of society as it is passionate love.
Likewise, Juliet, as a lady, is entirely bound to duty to her father and to the good of social peace. That she follows her passions is also an expression of individual will against social dictates. She also creates the discord which leads to tragedy. All of other primary character take their turns following their individual inclinations rather than the prescribed social roles. It can be argues that these expression of individual will over the greater good of the social body are the real causes of the tragic end.
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven Would through the airy region stream so bright That birds would sing and think it were not night.
This quotation contains the themes of light and dark in all of their complexity. The theme of passionate love is dramatized through this quotation. And the confusion of night and day, so crucial to the themes of the play, are fully articulated in the final line. These lines are spoken by Juliet during the balcony scene. In these lines we witness Juliet weighing her duty to her father and her family against her love of Romeo. This quotation dramatizes the themes of individual versus society, the individual against their own duty, and passionate love.
All of these themes are the catalysts for romance and conflict. Spoken by the chorus in the Prologue to the play, these lines describe the tension between fate and individual will. How much of the action is due to the personal agency of the characters, and how much is purely written in the stars? As with so much of Shakespeare, the symbolism is always complex. Romeo and Juliet continually refer to each other in terms of light.
Romeo sees Juliet lit by a light in the darkness. Yet, throughout the play they are forced to cover their actions in darkness. They must hide in order to keep others in the dark. Though light is commonly associated with the good and dark associated with the bad, the darkness facilitates the love between Romeo and Juliet and light is the evil which exposes their tragic end.
Along with light and dark, the night plays a crucial role in the play. Night is often associated with evil and even old age. Yet, in Romeo and Juliet , the night facilitates the marriage between the two lovers. Night is the cover for all of their meetings and time together, including their covert marriage. But night is also the cover for plots and schemes. How does the decision to commit suicide, as both Romeo and Juliet do at the end of the novel, represents what Shakespeare thought about the young love in general?
Does it make young love sacred or less important? What makes him so memorable then? Compare and contrast the two main characters in terms of how they develop throughout the play. For what reasons does each fall in love with the other person?
Do you think there are any other motivations that would have influenced their decisions? Do a critical analysis of the relationships between parents and children in the play. Do you think this is a societal commentary Shakespeare made about relationships he observed first hand? How do his mood swings affect other characters e. What do they say about his overall personality? A key element in the play is the delivery of crucial messages.
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This clever quote from Romeo and Juliet sums up the drama in Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. But if you’re struggling to find a topic for your Romeo and Juliet essay, you might feel the following quote sums up your own struggles: “For never was a story of more woe than this student trying to. Romeo and Juliet: Essay Topics 1) Discuss the character of Romeo and his infatuation with Rosaline. Does this weaken the credibility of the love he feels for Juliet?
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