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Dissecting Romeo and Juliet

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  1. Introduction
  2. The main focus of most critics
  3. Shakespeare and death
  4. Critics of the death scene of Romeo and Juliet
    1. Cardullo quotes and Bertrand Evans
    2. David Lucking's disection of Romeo and Juliet
    3. The relationship between the two lovers
    4. Susan Snyder: The lovers, too young to be married and too young to be protagonists
  5. The deeper meaning in Juliet's language and actions
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

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 time?115).

[...] 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). [...]

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