When studying Romeo and Juliet, most critics focus on four main points: Romeo's and Juliet's death scene, the relationship between the lovers, a feminist look at Juliet's character, and the structure of the play as a whole. However, the death scene is the most criticized aspect of the play, which says that most critics believe it's the most significant and has the most bearing on the play as a whole. Then the structure of the play is criticized by others, because as David Lucking notes, . . . the catastrophe of the play is precipitated by the elementary fact that the two protagonists are, to put it crudely, poorly coordinated from the strictly chronological point of view (Uncomfortable time115).
[...] Harvard University critic, Jill Colaco, says that the window scenes best show the bond between Romeo and Juliet (138). She says that . Romeo and Juliet, even after their wedding, are conducting a clandestine liaison that has more in common with a dangerous intrigue than with a licit marriage” (138). Colaco also quotes critic H. A. Mason as calling the window scene a “scene of plighting rather than love” (139). She argues that placing Romeo under the balcony makes him a serenader, who sings the praises of Juliet's beauty, though not expecting to be heard (139). [...]
[...] a tragedy of unawareness” which differs greatly from the assessments by Kermode, Gibbons, and Moulton, who all agree that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy brought about by chance. Evans also backs up his claim of Friar John's role not affecting the outcome by noting how . It is Balthasar's action, not Friar John's, that needs to be and is consonant with the tragic pattern. Balthasar fits into the scheme because he does not know that Juliet is not really dead; he sees her funeral and leaves Verona at once to report her ‘death' to Romeo” (Cardullo 407). [...]
[...] But since the death scene is the most scrutinized, then that is what any reader who studies Romeo and Juliet will remember most. And since “Shakespeare used the device of the heroine's feigned or reported death and subsequent reappearance in five of his comedies and romances . (Rozett 154), it's probably best that it is the most scrutinized aspect, because it must have worked for him to use it that often. Works Cited Brown, Carolyn E. “Juliet's taming of Romeo.” Studies in English literature 36.2 (1986): 333-355. [...]
[...] Then once Romeo shows up and kills Paris, his death is even more tragically inevitable (Rozett 157). Even so, Moisan points out that death is allegorized as a felony which inevitable or not, will seem immoral to the audience. Therefore, it adds more irony to the story, as the hero, Romeo, kills Paris. Yet the audience would mourn his death as though it were tragic, when, if Moisan is correct, he is nothing more than a criminal, who, like most criminals, deserved his death. [...]
[...] So, by the time Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet came around, the audience wasn't going to be shocked into tears as a result of Romeo's death or the death of Juliet that followed. In fact, Rozett points out how the final scenes are really comical, because of all the mistimed incidents: the Friar's late arrival to the tomb and Juliet waking just after Romeo kills himself to mention two (154-155). But Moisan says that the death scene appears rather anticlimactically if the audience was paying attention to the Prologue to Act I or if they even heard the story before in any of its other variations (391). [...]
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