The Heartbreaking Ending: A Tragic Mood in Shakespeare’s Romance Many people think of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, as a romance. But as the title recommends, The Catastrophe of Romeo and Juliet is simply that: a disaster. The story is about the struggles of Romeo and Juliet’s love regardless of the century-long fight between their households.
Like numerous tragedies, which end with fatality, the play ends with the deaths of the “star-crossed fans.” Throughout the play, Shakespeare communicates strong sensations, or state of minds. In Act 5, Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses imagery, irony, and significance to create an awful mood.
The first device Shakespeare uses to develop a terrible mood is images. After the bodies of Romeo, Juliet, and Paris are discovered, Lady Capulet describes the scene in Verona: O, the people in the street cry ‘Romeo,’ Some ‘Juliet,’ and some ‘Paris’; and all keep up open outcry towards our monument. (V. iii. 191-193) These lines show the disorderly after-effects of the death of the 3 adolescents. This produces a tragic mood due to the fact that the audience gets an image of a sad, weeping community. The sense of distress and sorrow depicts disaster and grief throughout the town. A 2nd gadget used is paradox.
There are many examples utilized in Act Five. One instance of remarkable paradox is when the audience knows that Juliet is under a sleeping potion, but Romeo does not, and he is about to kill himself. When Romeo enters the Capulet burial place, he sees Juliet and weeps out: Death, that have actually drawn the honey of thy breath, Hath had no power yet upon thy appeal. Though art not conquered. Beauty’s ensign yet Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks And death’s pale flag is not advanced there. (V. iii. 92-96) Here Romeo is explaining Juliet and how lovely she is, even though she’s “dead.” She is in fact lovely since she is still alive!
The audience feels so awful for Romeo, because right after he eliminates himself Juliet awakens and discovers her fan is dead due to the fact that of her. Shakespeare’s usage of paradox appeals to the readers’ emotions, producing an awful state of mind. Finally, Shakespeare created a terrible mood by utilizing significance. Formerly, the Friar explained poison in a soliloquy: O, mickle, is the effective grace that lies In plants, herbs, stones, and other true qualities; For naught so disgusting that on the earth doth live But to the earth some unique great doth provide; Nor ought so good, however, strained from that fair use, Revolts from real birth, stumbling on abuse. (II. iii. 5-20) The Friar is stating that +true and naturally advantages can be turned bad when not properly used, like toxin originated from plants. This resembles the fight between the Montagues and Capulets, which damaged the love in between Romeo and Juliet to the point of death. This produces an awful mood since something totally innocent has been manipulated by human hands. The toxin was originally harmless plants; it symbolizes the fight in between the families. Both the poison and the feud literally and figuratively killed Romeo and Juliet. This creates a tragic state of mind since if it were not for the fight, they would have lived happily ever after.
Shakespeare developed a terrible state of mind in Romeo and Juliet by utilizing irony, images, and importance. Imagery offers us insight to the disorderly mess of individuals in Verona. Paradox plays on our emotions and makes us supportive for Romeo’s unawareness. Significance provides a much deeper significance to the deaths. He contrasts this terrible mood with the sensations of love and romanticism previously in the play. Shakespeare does this to show that in life, things fail and there are not always happy endings. Functions Cited Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Aspects of Literature Third Course. Orlando: Holt, 2007. 901-1024.