The Tragedies of "Romeo and Juliet"

Essay by killahrichHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2006

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"Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die." This quote, spoken by Romeo, represents one of the many tragic parts of the story Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In this story many characters contribute to the tragic theme. One of these characters is Tybalt, Juliet's cousin. Another example of a character bringing tragedy is Mercutio, one of Romeo's close friends. One final character bringing out tragedy is Prince Escalus, the Prince of Verona. All of the characters of Romeo and Juliet intertwine together making a very tragic and intense story.

Tybalt is Juliet's cousin. He is a very hot headed and tempered man. He is easily angered and will quickly start a fight. He hates the whole Montague family and will use any excuse to get into a quarrel with them. Tybalt contributes to the tragedy of this story in many ways. One very significant way in which he contributes to tragedy was during a fight between him and Mercutio.

Tybalt ended up killing Mercutio, making Romeo feel obligated to fight in his place and kill Tybalt. Romeo kills Tybalt and the tragedy occurs when Juliet finds out. Juliet feels a mixture of love and hate and doesn't know which should take over. The death of Tybalt causes Romeo to be banished which causes more drama and tragedy because it makes it more difficult for Romeo and Juliet to see each other.

Mercutio is one of Romeo's very good friends. He is a very witty person and often uses puns. Mercutio contributes to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in a way very similar to the way of Tybalt. When Mercutio is killed in the initial fight, Romeo steps in to take his place and get even with Tybalt. Romeo had felt like Mercutio shouldn't have died just because Romeo wouldn't fight Tybalt. If Mercutio hadn't died during the fight, Romeo would not have ended up killing Tybalt, causing more obstacles.

Prince Escalus is the prince of Verona. After finding out about Romeo killing Tybalt, he punishes him to banishment of Verona. Romeo leaves Verona and goes to Mantua where he stays and awaits any news of Juliet. By banishing Romeo, Prince Escalus contributes to the tragedy of this story. Banishing Romeo made it more difficult for him to see Juliet. Not only was it difficult for them to see each other, but it was difficult to even hear news about each other. If Romeo had not been banished he would have easily known the plan of the potion that Juliet drank, causing him not to kill himself.

The story of Romeo and Juliet is full of numerous tragedies all contributing to the complexity of the story. Shakespeare uses interactions between the characters as examples of tragedy. Each instance of tragedy leads to another as the story evolves. Without these three characters, Tybalt, Mercutio, and Prince Escalus, the feeling of the story would be very different. Although the basic story line of Romeo and Juliet is simple, the personal tragedies fully develop the story.