Romeo and Juliet: Love and Hate-Comedy or Tragedy?
For a love story, Romeo and Juliet has more violence and bloodshed than most TV mini-
series. The play begins with a riot, ends with a double suicide, and in between has three murders.
And all this takes place in the span of four short days. Of course, when you're dealing with love
and passion, you're operating on an different level. The funny thing is that both of these terms
fall in the same category. It is common for love to turn to hate, in the blink of an eye.
Love and hate are two different things yet have so many things in common. They have a
doubleness. This contrast is shown throughout Romeo and Juliet "O brawling love, O loving
hate," Romeo cries in the play's very first scene, using a figure of speech and setting up a theme
that will be played out during the next five acts. From the very beginning love and hate emerge
and begin to start dramatic tension in the story.
A great deal of the violence in Romeo and Juliet became more understandable: they're all
short-tempered because of the tension building in hatred! This is even shown by Benvolio when
he warns Mercutio that "The day is hot, and Capulet's abroad, And if we meet we shall not scape
a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring." Unfortunately, he warns too late,
and the brawl he seeks to avoid is met in the form of Tybalt.
Perhaps it is not too great a mind bend to assume that Verona is experiencing just such a long,
hot summer. Something must have happened to have spured such a great feud between the
Montagues and the Capulets. But what was it?
By the time Romeo and Juliet begins, the violence is already under way. The play opens
with a riot, after which the Prince says that "Three civil brawls. . .have thrice disturbed the quiet
of our streets." (1.1.80-82) Obviously, this violence has not been continual, for it is still young
enough for people to keep count of the fights. It must be something new that has risen and
disturbed more hatred between both families. What brings on this conflict? Heat, whether
internal or external, has a bad effect on judgment.
Applying conflict to interpersonal communication, it might be reasonable to assume that
human beings who are hot might see a signal of aggression in another person--particularly if
that person were regarded as the enemy -- when in fact there was none. The slightest wrong
move might be perceived as an affront, an insult, a challenge. Under the best circumstances,
communication between hostile forces is difficult; under conditions of extreme heat, conflict
becomes almost inevitable.
In addition to love and hate, there are results given in the story of tragedy. The story
takes place in about four days, but is Romeo and Juliet a tragedy or a comedy? The story can be
taken as a personal preference, but to me this story was intended to be a tragedy. Shakespeare
includes many witty puns and lines in his plays. Mercutio tells many hidden jokes, many being
sexual innuendoes. By seeing the play in Ashland on stage, it gave me a better feeling for the
play in what dramatic state it was portraying. Many times it put me on the edge of my seat
during the tragic parts. Granted there are many funny parts in the acts, but it was intended for a
tragedy. What makes this story a tragedy, rather than a comedy? Fate plays an important role in
making Romeo and Juliet a good tragedy. It was destiny that the Capulet servant was not able to
read the list of people who he was supposed to invite to a party and had to ask a Montague for
help. Romeo and Juliet fell in love by chance; they could not help that their families were
feuding. Cruel actions of fate helped to determine the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo's tragic flaw of...
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