In Shakespeare's play Romeo & Juliet how would you define this play as a Tragedy?

Essay by taraward33High School, 10th grade September 2004

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The following information tells you about the play, Romeo & Juliet and how I have made my own personal assumptions that defines this play as a tragedy.

The play is set in Verona, Italy. There are two very noble families; the Montagues, and the Capulets who are at war with one another. This feud has recently ignited itself.

It is the children of these families namely; Romeo Montagu and Juliet Capulet, who capitivate the story where they meet, fall in love and between them, battle against all odds to be together. This play shows the changing relationships between Romeo & Juliet and with those who are close to them, as to the happenings throughout the play i.e. the pronouncement of Juliet's impending marriage to Paris; the death of Juliet's cousin Tybalt; the needless death of Paris who was in love with Juliet; the plan of Friar Lawrence that goes array; and ultimately, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

This is not a true tragedy and Romeo was not a valiant hero with a weakness as such. It is the occurrence of all the tragic circumstances and series of fatal accidents surrounding these two young lovers that make this play a tragedy - youth betrayed by age or love destroyed by hate!

The first factors of tragedy in the play are made at the scene of the party. It was fate that led Romeo to even be at the party, knowing that a Montague would not be welcome in the Capulet's house. It was made obvious that the feud was very much alive when Tybalt spies Romeo and says

'now by the stock and honour of my kin, To strike him dead I hold it not a sin' I,v,56.

It was also very clear that there would...