Factors that contribute to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Love Pages: 5 (3008 words) Published: May 31, 2014


Explore the factors that contribute to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

There are four areas that contribute to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. It is important to study the cultural and historical background in which the play is set as this affects how characters behave and interact with each other. Another factor is individual characters and how their personalities and behaviour contribute to the deaths of the two protagonists. Love and hate affects the characters and causes the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Some people believe that the events in the play happened because of fate and that they happened for a reason; others may think that the events of the play happened just by chance. Therefore it is important to study all four of these reasons to see which contribute to whether the deaths of Romeo and Juliet happened because of fate or coincidence. An examination of these factors may reveal whether any one of these theories is a possibility when deciding what led to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet

The factor that I think contributes to Romeo and Juliet’s death is the social and cultural way of life that they experienced. The position of women in the Elizabethan period, in polite society didn’t allow them to make their own decisions or have opinions and they were seen and not heard. Females that were around the same age as Juliet had many boundaries that didn’t allow them to lead normal lives. They were given limited access to education and were normally home tutored because their parents thought that it was the best and safest thing for them, but instead it stopped them learning necessary skills to become independent. Women were always seen as less intelligent than men, mainly because men would be working to provide for their families. Women weren’t given the opportunity to work as they were expected to stay at home and look after their children or a nanny would be employed; the nurse is very close to Juliet and Juliet feels that she can talk to the Nurse about Romeo. Conversations with her mother, Lady Capulet, are very formal as at this time. Children would show respect towards their parents. Elizabethan society was patriarchal. Women’s opinions were not important and were glanced over which led them to be passive towards people. A typical Elizabethan woman would have been fragile, delicate and pretty. A young woman at the age of thirteen or fourteen would be expected to marry the man of her parent’s choice as we see when Capulet tries to make Juliet marry Paris. Sons and daughters had a strong sense of filial duty towards their parents. A daughter was answerable to her father. She would always accept her father’s choice of husband and would never question. Family was extremely important, extended family was of equal importance to immediate family, and therefore families were larger; as is shown when Lady Capulet grieves for her nephew Tybalt as if he were her son. Feuds were common and family loyalty was exceptionally important, for instance servants that served a family would get involved with feuds and start quarrels with servants of the other family. This is shown in act one scene one when the servants start a fight which causes Benvolio and Tybalt to fight. Also a family’s reputation and status within society was very important which may have caused the two families to quarrel.

A key factor that contributes to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet is the way the characters behave throughout the play and the relationships between characters. In the play Romeo’s character is described as “humorous! Madman! Passion! Lover! ” by his close friend Mercutio. Mercutio uses these words as Romeo is a passionate character in the play and a lover, the audience and readers notice this when they see how upset and depressed Romeo is when he finds out that the girl he loves, Rosaline, doesn’t love him back. It can also be seen when Romeo first meets Juliet “O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do: they pray – grant...
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