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Romeo and Juliet

By Tabitha Rash

I chose the tragic play, Romeo and Juliet (1594) by William Shakespeare.  I accessed the play through the website, < http://shakespeare.mit.edu/romeo_juliet/full.html>, on April 16, 2011.  Shakespeare composed the play during mid-1850 in London about the forbidden love between two young people.

Although the play is considered by many to be a tragic drama, there are elements of comedy and romance, as well.  As the play begins, Romeo Monatague is pursuing Rosaline, who has no intention of ever marrying him.  Mercutio, a jokester of sorts, makes fun of Romeo due to this fact, which brings some comedy to the play. Exposition occurs when Romeo displays his lust for Rosaline instead of Juliet.  However, the plot soon reverses when Romeo and Juliet meet, unaware of each other’s last names.  This is important because their families have a long-lived feud between them and the love would be forbidden.  They soon discover who their families are and marry in hopes of ending the feud.  Death foreshadows their happiness, though and tragedy looms in the near future.  Mercutio is killed by Tybalt, who is then killed by Romeo to avenge the death of Mercutio.  Upon his return, the prince banishes Romeo from Verona, as a result of the murders.

The climax begins when a brawl breaks out between the servants of the feuding noble families of Romeo Monatague and Juliet Capulet at the Capulet feast in which Romeo crashes.

There are several thoughts of suicide by the young couple, especially after Romeo kills Tybalt.  They never go through with it, until this point in the play.  When Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead, he drinks the poison and dies.  Juliet, upon waking, finds Romeo dead and stabs herself with the dagger when the friar is not looking.  The feud is resolved when both families agree to end to prevent any further tragedies and so that their beloved children did not die in vain.

Shakespeare takes the time to build depth in the plot and in the characters, especially the active protagonists of the main characters, Romeo and Juliet.  He captures the essence of the passionate love shared between two young lovers through the poetic language used throughout the play.  Anyone who has experienced young love can relate, especially when the family gets involved and offers advice.  The author makes it easy to relate to his characters and apply it to their own lives.

The play is intense and draws the reader into their world, as if he were an innocent bystander in the backdrop of the play.  It is an emotional rollercoaster, with highs and lows, which keep you suspended until the deaths of the young lovers.  It is a very sad love story that has withstood the test of time to be included among the classics.

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