Romeo and Juliet
To what extent are the personal weaknesses of the central characters responsible for the tragic outcome of ‘Romeo and Juliet’?
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, ends in tragedy because of personal weaknesses shown by the central characters. There are weaknesses shown by the characters of Romeo and Juliet with their emotional feelings or love which contributes to the tragedy. A flaw or weakness that is shown by the character of Capulet is his power and anger or rage that ends up being responsible for the tragic outcome of the play. Friar Lawrence displays a personal weakness of being an inexperienced human being who hasn’t felt or experienced love or hate so cannot predict outcomes of his decisions. Shakespeare uses dramatic techniques such as oxymoron’s as well as theatrical dialogue, punctuation and characterisation to display these weaknesses.
Shakespeare’s characters Romeo and Juliet are characterised as a couple who love each other dearly and that is a weakness shown by these two central characters. Love is shown, “It is my lady, O it is my love,” This quote clearly displays Romeos love for Juliet as the quote is quiet straightforward in that sense. Juliet shows her love, “Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” This line shows that Juliet is willing to stop being a Capulet just to be with Romeo. These quotes show their affection towards each other. But their affection leads to the tragic outcome of this play. Romeo is obsessed with Juliet as he is madly in love with her, and his affection initiates the urge to see if Juliet is really dead after he hears the news of her ‘death’ leading to his demise. After the death of Romeo, Juliet takes Romeo’s dagger and kills herself because she cannot live without Romeo as she loves him, which in the end, brings about the tragic outcome of the play. Romeo’s death is shown by him taking a drug that kills him. “Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss, I die.” Juliet’s death is presented as she stabs herself with a dagger, “This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die” Shakespeare uses dramatic dialogue to express the drama that was taking place. Romeo and Juliet use very descriptive and dramatic language to show their love for each other. Shakespeare characterises Romeo and Juliet to be characters that do see the negative side of life but usually focus on the positive part of life instead. The weakness’s that these two central characters share are their love for each other, causing the tragic outcome of the play.
Capulet is interpreted as a powerful and very loose tempered character, who contributes to the tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet. The overuse of insults, shows his temper “Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow-face!” This is a quote said by Capulet when Juliet refused his offer to marry Paris who is the immediate choice to marry Juliet. Capulet has the power to execute Juliet, and this power is converted into the rage that is also shown by this quote, “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!” Lady Capulet also adds in a quote which describes Capulet’s anger or temper “You are too hot,” Even from Lady Capulet’s point of view, Capulet is a hot tempered character. His aggressive nature results into devastating consequences, which leads to the catastrophic result of this play. Shakespeare uses punctuation techniques to emphasise the rage that Capulet has displayed. Exclamation marks and dashes are used to express the wrath of Capulet and also to show pauses that helps display the seriousness of Capulet. Shakespeare successfully uses these techniques to dramatize and emphasise key moments of speech. As the quote clearly shows, he can’t control his temper and his aggressive approach to Juliet’s response, affects her actions to go to the Friar and that results into the mistiming of events and the tragic outcome. Capulet is a key character who is responsible for the tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet.
Friar Lawrence is a character who has an overall weakness of being an inexperienced human being which leads to the tragic outcome of the play. Friar Lawrence is a neutral character which means that he is neither a Capulet nor a Montague. He weds Romeo and Juliet near the beginning of the play secretly and also gives Juliet the sleeping drug which contributes to the tragic outcome. Friar Lawrence displays a personal weakness which is his inexperience to humanity. This means that he hasn’t experienced intense love or hate and therefore can’t predict any outcome of the decisions he made or was close to making. He hadn’t thought of what could happen if he gave Juliet the serum and the events that were meant to occur, didn’t occur at all because of the fact that minor details produced large consequences. Or what could have happened if he wedded Juliet again to Paris, an action he would have been punished for as it was a sin for someone to be married twice. His inexperience to love and hate caused him to not understand the extent or intensity of these two feelings which every human being would have encountered one time or another. Shakespeare characterises Friar Lawrence to be a neutral character who is neither a Capulet nor a Montague, so he can do what he can to fix this family feud but comes his actions come with terrible consequences. Friar Lawrence shows a personal weakness of being an inexperienced human being, which, because of his limited knowledge about love and hate, leads to the tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet.
Many characters are responsible for the tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet. The two central characters, Romeo and Juliet have a weakness which is the love that they have for each other. This love initiates unfortunate events leading into the disastrous result of this tragedy. Capulet, Juliet’s father, and his uncontrollable rage caused Juliet to act on impulse which triggers the sequence of negative events therefore causing the dreadful outcome. Friar Lawrence is a character who has not experienced love and hate, whether it is intense or mild, and his lack of knowledge about these feelings are responsible for the tragic outcome of William Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet.