Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a romantic tragedy. We first learn this in the Prologue, as the audience is told: “Doth with their death…Their death marked love”. The Prologue tells the audience key events in the play and is a good source of dramatic irony, as the audience knows that the characters will die at the end, although the characters themselves don’t.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona, Italy, and tells of two star-crossed lovers, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, who belong to enemy families. They first meet at a Capulet house party. When they see each other from across the room they instantly fall in love, and are married the next day. However, in Act 3 Scene 1, the day after the marriage, Romeo’s best friend Mercutio is killed by Tybalt; a member of the Capulet family. Because of this, Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished from Verona. After Romeo leaves Verona, Juliet’s parents tell her she is to marry Paris; she is devastated. Friar Lawrence then comes up with a plan to allow Romeo and Juliet to be together; he gives Juliet a sleeping drug that makes her family think she is dead. When her family leave her tomb, Romeo comes back to Verona, and they plan to run away together. However, this does not go to plan. Romeo does not get the message and thinks Juliet really is dead. When he arrives and finds her in a tomb, he commits suicide. Eventually Juliet wakes up and finds Romeo lying beside her, dead. She stabs herself. The families then arrive, see what has happened, and agree to stop fighting.
There are three main themes in the play; one of them being love. When Romeo first meets Juliet at the Capulet party, he instantly falls in love with her and says: ‘Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’ Romeo is saying that now he’s seen Juliet, he’s fallen more in love with her than he has ever loved before. Another important theme in the play is hate. Later in the play, when the...
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