“Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare – tragedy or comedy? Essay
“Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare – tragedy or comedy?, 500 words essay example
William Shakespeare was a poet who also wrote infamous plays. A well-known playwright written by him was Romeo and Juliet. Often, there is a debated topic deciding whether the play was a tragedy or a comedy. A tragedy is a kind of drama that presents a serious subject matter about human suffering and terrible events in a distinguished style. A comedy represents a serious action that threatens a tragic disaster to the protagonist, who resembles in most ways a tragic hero, yet by the climax, the story ends happily. Based off my knowledge of plays and Romeo and Juliet, it meets the expectations of a tragedy.
Romeo and Juliet is considered to be a tragedy play and was written in the earlier years of Shakespeare's career. The play is believed to have been written around 1595. Shakespeare's original plot of Romeo and Juliet came from an Italian story by Arthur Brooke written a few years before the actual play. Brooke's version was called The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. From this variation, Shakespeare used the plot written by Arthur, but he broadened the play with his own ideas to make his own infamous version of Romeo and Juliet. For example, Shakespeare decided to change the age of Juliet from sixteen to fourteen. This was to show the immaturity of love that was the result of Romeo and Juliet's death. William Shakespeare's witty use of dramatic structure has been cleverly thought out from the different themes of the play such as comedy and tragedy in which sways back and forth to keep the audience captivated.
The opening scene in Act one of Romeo and Juliet immediately proves to us that the theme of the play predominantly will be a tragedy. Shakespeare first shows us a generations old feud between the Montague family and Capulet family. It's as if fate controls Romeo and Juliet's love and not being able to control their own feeling is bound to have a devastating effect, especially at the young age they are at. It is not by coincidence that it led to their catastrophic death but was used to the influence of timing and fate. Throughout the play, many themes besides tragedy are shown such as romance and death. The play is spilt into parts to represent tragedy, fate, conflict, family, love and religion. Tragedy greatly fits Romeo and Juliet due to the several heartbreaking deaths that all occur in the second half of the play. There are three topics to consider when looking at tragedy. The first is when one of the main characters has a tragic flaw that is shown through his personality that leads them to their death. In this play Romeo is the key character to play this personality. Another aspect to consider is the character decides on choices that they cannot anticipate and lastly, fate.
Along with the overall plot of the play, it is to be considered a tragedy because the story includes a tragic hero, in this case, Romeo.