Sie sind auf Seite 1von 4

Page1

AshDawson

EnglishHonours9

Period4

31015

ComicallyTragic

Shakespearesfamousplay
RomeoandJuliet
isknownasbothatragedyandacomedy.
But,whichisit?RomeoandJulietsspiralofunfortunateeventscanbebothsadandcomical,
butthemajorityoftheplayandimportantlytheendshowsalthoughtherearefunnyparts,itis
overalltoodepressingtobeconsideredacomedyplay.Theplayhasboththecomponentstobea
comedyortragedy,butisoveralldepressingenoughtobeataleofsadratherthanglad.

RomeoandJulietisastoryoftwoloversfallinginloveatfirstsight,butdestinedbyfate
nottobetogether.Thisstorylineissetuptobeatragedy,notcomedic.Forinstance,neither
knewwhotheotherwasuntilJulietsnurseinformedherthathisnameisRomeoandthathe
wasoftheMontagues.ShealsoansweredRomeosquestionofwhothegirlwasbystatingthat
JulietsmotherwastheladyofthehouseofCapulet(1.5.119,143).Theywantedtobe
together,butcouldnot,becausetheycamefromrivalrykingdomsthathadbeenfightingfor
decades.ShakespearessorrowfulstoryalsoincludedmanydeathsMercutio,Tybalt,Romeo,

Page2

Juliet,andLadyMontaguehadalldiedonewayoranother(RomeoandJuliet).Allofthese
deathscamefromthesillyfeudledonbybothhousesandthelossoflovers,children,family,
andfriendscreatesatragicstory.Thefamiliesunneededgrudgeledtheyoungcoupleandmany
othersdownadarkpath,makingitlamentableliterature.

Theplayistragicfrombeginningtoendfromtheprologuetothelastwordsspoken.The
Prologuetalksofthethemebeingafearfulpathage,deathmarkedlove,rageandanoverall
horridevent(Prologue).Thispreviewshowsthedarkpointsportrayedinthelinesoftheplay
andtheactionstobemadebythecharacters.Itisalsoliterallywrittenintheveryendthatthere
neverwasastoryofmorewoethantheeventsthatoccurredintheplay(5.3.319).Even
ShakespearehimselfemphasizedthedepressionofRomeoandJulietfromtheirdeplorable
predicament.Thestorybeginsandendsonabadnote,makingitfarmoresadthancheerful.

Therearestillpeoplewhobelievethatthetaleisoneofcomedybecausetherearecertain
scenessoridiculousitislaughablebecauseofitsirony.AnexampleiswhenRomeoreactedto
thebanishmentbybawlingonthefloorwithwomanishtears(3.3.118).Thefriarwas
disappointedinRomeosdramaqueenlikemanner,andcomparedhispitifulfiguretoagirl
despitethathea17yearoldman,makingitentertainingfortheaudiencetolaughathis
foolishness.Nonetheless,Juliet,inherwoes,threatenedtodiemaidenwidowed(3.2.139)and
Romeosthoughtsofslay[ing]thyself(3.3.124)werealsoprominentpartsoftheplay.The

Page3

darkthoughtsofsuicidemakeittoodrearyastorytobeacomedy.Despitesomeopinions,
RomeoandJulietistrulyanunfortunateseriesofevents,andalthoughironicallyhumorous,is
doesnothaveenoughtoqualifyasacomedy.

Thefamiliesgrudge,thedarkscenes,andtheoverallcharactersoftheplayaretoo
serioustobeacomedy.Thistragiclovestoryisfamousforbeingassuch,asShakespearegaveit
amemorablestorylinewithcharacterswhoselackofcommunicationandfriendlinessledtheir
storytotakeadrasticturn.Theplaycanonlybedescribedasagreattragedyforitscomponents
aretoodepressingtolaughat.

Page4

WorksCited
Shakespeare,William,andRichardHosley.
TheTragedyofRomeoandJuliet.
NewHaven:
YaleUP,1954.Print.