Romeo and Juliet: What Caused the Dead End?

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Death is inevitable and that is a fact of life. In the play, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare continuously used the concept of death to enhance and escalate the plot. This tells us that he understood that death was an important aspect of life and reality. The play ends tragically with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Despite the fact that there were many various events that led to this horrific incident, there is a main cause. The tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet were caused by a series of coincidences and unfortunate mistakes, such as, Romeo’s mistake in the skirmish that led to Tybalt’s death, the change in the date of Paris’s wedding with Juliet, and Romeo’s impulsive reaction to the news of Juliet’s death. Firstly, Romeo makes a mistake during the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, which ends in his banishment. Romeo just gets married to Juliet and he happens to find Mercutio and Tybalt fighting. He tries to keep the peace and jumps in between them. This throws Mercutio off guard and Tybalt fatally stabs him under Romeo’s arm. Romeo’s feelings about this incident are shown when he says, “My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt/In my behalf; my reputation stain’d/With Tybalt’s slander.” (3.1.106-108) This saying shows that Mercutio was killed under Romeo’s arm, while he was defending him from Tybalt’s slander. This makes Romeo feel guilty and somewhat responsible for Mercutio’s death, which makes him seek revenge and kill Tybalt, resulting in his banishment. If Romeo did not jump in between Mercutio and Tybalt, he would not have been banished and he would have plenty of time to plan an escape with Juliet, avoiding their tragic deaths. Secondly, Lord Capulet changes Juliet’s wedding with Paris from Thursday to Wednesday and this forces Friar Lawrence to rush his plan to fake Juliet’s death. At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare brings to the reader’s attention that the friar does not like to do things in haste when he says, “Wisely and slow, they...
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