Romeo and Juliet

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Life is full of pain and suffering; it is a part of the human experience. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, our two protagonists both deal with much pain and suffering throughout their short lives. They go through tragic ordeals only to be unable to pass the last – death. Though Juliet has suffered much pain and sorrow, Romeo suffers more, as he loses his friend Mercutio, is banished from Verona and as he must face the death of Juliet.

At the start of the play, Romeo is hopelessly heartbroken when he learns that the woman he loves does not return his love. “She’ll not be hit with Cupid’s arrow” (I, i. 208-209) he laments, his grief shown evidently in his speech. Also, during one of the many fights that happen between the two feuding families, Romeo’s good friend Mercutio is slain whilst defending his name. Mercutio cries out in anguish: “Why the / devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.” (III, i. 99). Romeo must live with the fact that he had a part in the killing, as Tybalt lands a dishonorable blow through his arm. Fueling his anger with the pain he feels, Romeo takes revenge and kills Tybalt. However, this unfortunately results in being banished from Verona. This is when Romeo feels hopeless and believes, “There is no world without Verona walls” (III, iii. 19). Romeo is so distraught following all these tragic events that he must seek the help of the Friar Lawrence.

Juliet also experiences suffering equal to Romeo’s grief. She must defy her tradition and law by refusing to marry Paris. She states clearly for all to hear: “He [Paris] shall not make me there a joyful bride” (III, v. 122). This alienates her from her family as she tries to go against her family’s wishes. Juliet must also fake her own death and abandon everything willingly to be with Romeo. The Friar hands Juliet a potion potent enough to stop the heart for a full day. However, with all the worrying Juliet does, there must be psychological damage from the stress she received...
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