Motive In Romeo And Juliet

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A recurring motive runs through Shakespearean plays, in which deaths happen relatively frequently. Looking specifically at Romeo & Juliet, in which most of the play's major characters do not survive the ending of the play, either by murder or natural occurrences, this motive is made clear from early on in the play. Even before the play turns to a tragedy, as Shakespeare has written the first part of the play as a comedy and the second part as a romance, there are already many deaths that take place during encounters between the strife of the two feuding families; the Capulets and the Montagues. This tendency for character death at first glance seems to be a mere plot device or even coincidental, however, a clear explanation can be given after…show more content…
For sake of chronology and order we will go over them one by one, from the beginning of the play to the end. In the third act of Romeo & Juliet a duel ensues between members of the houses of Capulet and Montague, which Tybalt had arranged to put Romeo in his place after he attended the Capulets’ ball. Initially Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt, which is why Mercutio takes his place and duels with Tybalt. Mercutio loses to Tybalt and is stabbed under Romeo’s arm, marking the first death in the play. Quickly thereafter, Romeo takes revenge for his fallen comrade, in turn killing Tybalt, leading to his excommunication. Hearing of her son’s exile, Lady Montague is tremendously struck with grief and dies of a heart attack, which is mentioned later on, as his happened offstage. At the end of the play, Juliet fakes her own death, to avoid marrying Paris and to be able to run away with Romeo, according to Friar Lawrence’s plan. However, Romeo was not properly informed of this scheme, so he thought Juliet had really perished. When Paris himself wanted to say his last goodbyes to Juliet, he found a grief-stricken Romeo, who murders Paris after a short duel. After this encounter, believing he would never see his love of his live again, Romeo takes a bottle of poison, killing him on Juliet’s apparent deathbed. On the sight of her deceased lover, Juliet takes a pocket knife and also commits to
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