Sense of Tragedy and Foreboding in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

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Sense of Tragedy and Foreboding in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

In the play, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates an impending sense of tragedy and foreboding. He uses a variety of devices to provoke this, such as themes, language and tone. To begin the sense of tragedy and foreboding he introduces characters caught in a sensitive conflict. The audience of the performance are very aw are that the genre of the play is a tragedy; therefore they have expectations for something traumatic to happen, such as death, doom and a disaster. Shakespeare succeeds in meeting these expectations by including several parallels in his performance. Parallels are events that foreshadow a later, more tragic
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Romeo is a very sensitive character as he embodies love and youth. He portrays this sensitivity when he does turns down a fight with Tyblat, instead he tells him that he loves his name. ‘But love thee better than thou can’st devise.’ As Romeo loves Juliet, Tybalt’s cousin Romeo uses this to tell Tybalt that he loves his name. As he is a very young character, this makes an impact on the play. His immature actions of his age are highlighted throughout the play. Romeo’s actions add to the strong sense of rushing. In addition he puts his fate into God’s hands. This shows that he is unreliable and does not believe in himself. Romeo’s thoughts prove that he has a strong instinct of his awaiting doom. Due to these thoughts, it makes the audience feel extreme tension. For example, Romeo knew that something bad would happen at the party, therefore he tried to stall going, ‘And we mean well in going to this masque. But ‘T is no wit to go.’ He tried to stall because he didn’t really want to go and he was putting it off for as long as he could.

In contrast, to Romeo, a character who embodies youth and love is his lover’s cousin, Tybalt. Tybalt is a strong character who embodies death, doom and disaster. Tybalt is extremely aggressive; he portrays this aggression and anger in Act 3 scene 1, when Tybalt and Mercutio fight. ‘I am hurt,’ says Mercutio. Tybalt has killed Mercutio
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