The Deaths of Romeo and Juliet in William Shakespeare's Play

The Deaths of Romeo and Juliet in William Shakespeare's Play
Romeo and Juliet was written in 1595 for an Elizabethan audience. It was set in Verona and Mantua in Italy. People of Shakespeare?s time thought of Italy as immoral and famous for it sexual affairs and crime. The audience would have expected Romeo and Juliet to include affairs and violence but would still react shocked to the actions going on in the play, as even though it would be normal, because of the notorious rumours of Italy, the audience would be used to have a happy ending. When fate and inevitability are present in a storyline the audience feels pity for the characters and fear for what is going to happen. The deaths in the play Romeo and Juliet have many possible causes, although they both eventually kill themselves, Romeo and Juliet could have been influenced to do this by other characters or each other. It is constantly suggested that their deaths were determined by fate, so none of the other characters could have influenced this anyway. Or it could just be because of their bad luck.They are not the only characters killed in the play. Romeo and Juliet opens with a prologue, which sets the scene to the play and gives the audience their first impressions of the characters. It particularly focuses on the parents feud "ancient grudge break new mutiny" shows us that the two households have had friction between them for a long time and that, they constantly fight and bicker particularly between the younger more headstrong members of the families. Romeo and Juliet being of different house holds, were born to hate each other, ?fatal loins? shows this, as it implies that because they were not supposed to like each other because of their parents hate for each other. It also suggest that fate had already planned for them to meet and fall in love. Tybalt is a perfect example of how the Montague-Capulet feud had taken over his life. "As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee" shows how much he really despises Montagues. He has been taught and brought up to believe that the Montagues are the enemy, so he is always trying to fight them. When he finds out that Romeo went to the Capulet?s party, Tybalt says that he wants to kill him. His actions are melodramatic and this is showed with the punctuation that is used. There is an excessive amount of explanation points and short words, which create the effect that he is short tempered and energetic. Shakespeare has used Tybalt to reflect the intense hatred for each other, between the households. This does not let the audience ever forget the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. Mercutio blames both the Montagues and the Capulets for his own death, when Tybalt stabs him after becoming involved in a fight between them. He repeats the word ?a plague o? both your houses? he curses them both for continuing the feud. The feud between the two households causes a rift between Romeo and Juliet but they choose to ignore that their families are fighting and still meet each other in secret and continue to develop their relationship. "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" shows that Juliet realises the risks in meeting Romeo but her feelings are so strong that she still does. At the very beginning of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is head over heels in love with Rosaline. Romeo falls in and out of love very quickly, or at least he says he loves people after not knowing them for a very long time. In the first scene he complains to his cousin Benvolio that he loves Rosalineso much but because it is unrequited love he states that he does not want to do anything. Romeo acts very upset, crying and hiding in the dark and constantly uses poetic language, with oxymoron?s, e.g. " O loving hate! â?? O heavy lightness" which could be seemed as being artificial. By using very contradicting words it expresses how he feels, how he hates being in love. To him he really is in love but the audience knows that it is Juliet who he really loves. This presents him as being fickle. He is also possible only saying this for attention. He talks about love in a stereotypical way, and in confused way using more oxymorons such as "cold fire, sick health" This language seems planned. When he first meets Juliet they talk in a poetic way and use huge amounts of religious imagery, repeating particular words such as ?pilgrims?, ?saints? and ?holy? which makes them and their love seem innocent, which is portrayed in the language they used, as Romeo says "My lips, two blushing pilgrims". When they talk to each other the speak in rhyme, making it seem artificial, but their first conversation is written as a sonnet. This poem structure is typically used for love poems and as they talk in that format the audience will think that they have really fallen in love. In the prologue for Romeo and Juliet the phrase ?star cross?d lovers? is used to describe Romeo and Juliet. ?Star cross?d lovers? means, in reference to Romeo and Juliet that they were destined to meet, fall head over heels in love, and eventually die. Star imagery is used throughout Romeo and Juliet, which supports the idea that Romeo and Juliet were victims of fate as stars are often connected with people?s destiny such as horoscopes. The idea of fate and destiny is often used by many of the characters as a reason for the events that happen. This means that they believe that everything that ever happens is pre-destined so whatever the characters do to affect Romeo and Juliet such as the nurse corresponding between them even if she had not of done this, she believes according to fate, that Romeo and Juliet would still have died in the end. The nurse was just a catalyst- speeding up their actions. Many of the characters seem to have premonitions throughout the play, which supports the idea of destiny and fate. "I dreamt my lady came and found me dead" is what Romeo tells a messenger. By saying this he is predicting the future, even though he does not know it yet Juliet will indeed wake and find him dead. By the characters making references to a bleak future and predicting it, the audience already knows that in the end both Romeo and Juliet will die. ?With their death bury their parents? strife? is said at the very beginning of the play in the prologue. The audience expects Romeo and Juliet to die and with continuous references to death and hardships they are reminded of it often. To the audience destiny might have seemed more real and genuine cause to the actions of the characters at the time because destiny in the late 16th Century was believed in and thought that it couldn?t be avoided. People were investing money in astrology, which, is used to predict a persons future. Romeo still tries to defy fate by saying ?I defy you stars? this shows two main points. One is that he does believe in fate and destiny or he wouldn?t ?defy? it. The other is that he decides that he will not let fate choose when he dies and ruling his life. Romeo thinks he has power over his fate and to prove this he kills himself, which is actually what was pre-destined to happen. When William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1595 it was believed that the daughters belonged to their fathers and that they believed that they should do whatever he told her to do. This included who she married, romantic love would not change who, (the daughter) was told to marry. ?My will to her consent? is what Capulet tells Paris when he repeatedly asks to marry Juliet. He shows a contradicting attitude to what is normal. He wants to wait until Juliet is 16 until she gets married. He talks to Paris and says "Let two more summers pass" and then she will be ?ripe to be a bride? He worries that Juliet will be ?marred? if she becomes a wife and a mother too young, this is possibly because of what happened in his own marriage. If Capulet had decided that Juliet should have married Paris earlier on in the play, Juliet might have agreed as she had never meet Romeo. Juliet is Capulet?s last living daughter, as he says, "earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she". Juliet is the only one who can give him grandchildren to be heirs; she is precious to Capulet because of this. Capulets nephew Tybalt is also a possible heir for Capulet but when Romeo kills him, Capulets feelings towards Juliet getting married changed from him being relaxed about it to forcing her to marry Paris. He quickly plans a wedding for her and Paris and is in a rush to marry them. He becomes more like a typical father in Verona and says that Juliet ?shall be married to this noble earl? This sudden transformation could be blamed on Juliet?s bad luck, after she has just become happy after marrying Romeo. Juliet?s nurse is more like her mother, as she has known and looked after her for all her life. The Nurse tells Romeo and Juliet about each other, and encourages them to marry in secret, even helping to arrange their wedding. She wants to see Juliet grown up, as her real daughter died. She tells Juliet that ?I have my wish? if ?I might live to see thee married once?. This might of influenced her to push forward with their wedding. The Friar Laurence agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet, although the reason he did this could be questioned. He could have done this more for his own gain than theirs. If the marriage had ended the feuding between the noble families, Friar Laurence would gain respect for it. There are many ideas about who is to blame for Romeo and Juliet?s deaths. For hundreds of years, the true cause has been disputed. There are examples of evidence that the lovers are to blame for their own deaths. Their haste and passion have a lot of effect on the things that they do. Although other characters? actions influence their decisions, eventually I think that they do not to such a large extent as Romeo and Juliet?s own actions. I believe that the most important events in the play are the Capulets? party and the final fight between the two houses. Without these events, the story would be very different.

The Deaths of Romeo and Juliet in William Shakespeare's Play 6.9 of 10 on the basis of 1884 Review.