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A Tragedy Is A Play Which Explores Human Weakness And Suffering, Leading To A Disastrous End. What Are The Causes Of The Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet And How Does Shakespeare Dramatise Them?

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Tragedy is mainly two types, Modern tragedy and Greek tragedy. Greek tragedy is down to the idea of fate and the gods. A hero defies the gods, often due to fatal flaws which is the reason behind his downfall. In Shakespeare plays, tragedy is also identified as a story that ends unhappily due to the fall of the protagonist, which is the tragic hero. Romeo and Juliet is a lot related to the Greek tragedy with the characters having many fatal flaws such as rivalry and youth as well as cultural flaws.

Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare around 1595. This play has been written among many other tragedies by Shakespeare such as, "Macbeth" and "Hamlet". However Romeo and Juliet is one of the most tragic Shakespeareans plays. In Shakespeare's other tragedies like "Macbeth" and "Hamlet", although those characters are fated to die, this type of tragedy is different, where Romeo and Juliet is the domestic type of tragedy, despite the fact that other characters influence the result of the final tragedy, however only few people are affected. Whereas, in the plays "Macbeth" and "Hamlet", the whole is affected by the outcome due to the political type of tragedy.

Tragedy has been used by Shakespeare to break down and end the rivalry and feud between the two families; Capulets and Montagues and also to bring an end to the play. Many tragedies have been presented in the play including Paris, Mercutio, Tybalt and the death of Romeo, Juliet and Lady Montague. These figures all lead on to each other, each one building up and abetting the next death or tragedy. Tragedies could have been causes for the following reasons; authority, patriarchy, codes of honour, rivalry, masculinity, rebellion, ambition and fate.

From the very beginning of the play, fate was constantly referred to by Shakespeare, starting with the prologue. "A pair of star crossed lovers take their life" here Shakespeare hints that Romeo and Juliet were meant to die together because it was their destiny. Therefore this is what fate had planned for their lives, as it was crossed through the stars. So the audience recognise even further that the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet was something which was definitely happening; inevitable. Shakespeare's job to convince the audience to believe that what has happened in the play was down to fate was easy. As the audience at that point of time would have believed in fate.

Destiny did not just made Romeo and Juliet to be with each other when were vivid, But also made them to be with each other after death. The fated death of Romeo and Juliet was revealed from the opening of the play. Shakespeare tried to deliver to us the idea that to be able to die of destiny you have to believe in destiny; Romeo and Juliet and an Elizabethan audience would have believed in destiny without any problem and so it would have been a persuasive reason to the audience for the tragic end. Romeo was shown to believe in fate through, the stars saying this just before leaving for the Capulet ball "I fear to early for my mind misgives, some consequences yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin this fearful date". Romeo knew that his actions were not under his control but the stars "he that hath steerage over my course, direct my sail". Romeo believes that fate was behind making his decisions.

Romeo recognised that fate was controlling his life, therefore he tried and defy and go against it but this has just made the situation even worse leading to the tragic end. The use of fate by Shakespeare was central to the progress of the play and its outcome, an example could be Romeo banishment and Paris' engagement to Juliet. 21st century audience being presented with the idea of fate would have found it nearly impossible to believe in it this is because modern society is a lot faster to blame people compared with an Elizabethan audience which would have accepted the idea without so many problems. Both a modern and an Elizabethan audience would, despite the knowledge of the plays outcome, be interested in the whole play and keep watching, Shakespeare uses the audiences knowledge as a dramatic device.

Ambition was crucial in leading to the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet. Friar Lawrence could be an example of ambitious person. He believed that by marrying the lovers the feud would stop. "in one respect ill thy assistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households rancour too pure love" he is alleging that the only reason he is marrying the two is to bring an end to the rivalry between the two blooded-hands families, but unfortunately because of destiny his plan did not work the way he was expecting and instead causing fighting. The Friars decision to marry Romeo and Juliet was well meaning but indicates his naivety. The Friar was really ambitious that he persuaded Juliet so quickly to agree her to take the sleepy potion and make her fake death, by doing this The Friar wanted to reverse nature to heal the feud.

The Friar was the kind of man who always looked to do positive, but usually his plans didn't work out till the end this could be due to fate. His accelerated and naÐ"Їve decision making leads the play to many unpredicted directions, and usually this will lead for the worse. Unpredicted direction of events would help to keep the audience attracted as well as captivated in the play as they had an idea of what was coming next, however as the play develops they start to recognise things are not all as they seem or should work. Shakespeare has used these techniques to build up tension and make scenes more dramatic.

Romeo and Juliet both rebel against their families and the rivalry between them by marring one another. The play has presented several examples of adolescent rebellion. Juliet disobeys her father by refusing to marry Paris which makes her seem guilty as she live in patriarchy society. Juliet then makes it even worse for herself as rebels against her father by not marrying Paris and. During the scene Juliet swears that she "will not marry yet" she then adds "shall be Romeo" by doing this, she is now not only refuses to obey her parents orders, but reveals her secret and as well as showing her independence and. Both rebel against their parents by making and carrying on with their association with each other. Juliet not only refuses her parents orders, but also attempts to make Romeo to rebel against his identity "deny thy father and refuse thy name". Juliet then tries to convince Romeo that he has to forget all about his family name and his need to follow codes of honour so that they both can be together living peacefully. Romeo would find this hard to do as he belonged to the Elizabethan society and so he needs to put so pressure on himself

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(2011, 06). A Tragedy Is A Play Which Explores Human Weakness And Suffering, Leading To A Disastrous End. What Are The Causes Of The Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet And How Does Shakespeare Dramatise Them?. Essays24.com. Retrieved 06, 2011, from https://www.essays24.com/essay/A-Tragedy-Is-A-Play-Which-Explores-Human/54519.html

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