Romeo And Juliet An Analysis Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Literature Type: Essay Paper: #24932749 Related Topics: Sonnet 73, Character Analysis, Poetry Analysis, Torch
Excerpt from Essay :

To Tybalt, he cries: "I do protest I never injur'd thee, / but love thee better than thou canst devise." His language is insistent, but Mercutio's death is more than he can bear: he takes it personally and is blinded by the abuse he feels that he has suffered. His language changes from insistence to accusation. First, he feels his pains: "This gentleman… / My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt / in my behalf; my reputation stain'd / With Tybalt's slander" (3.1.73-76). Then, he turns to blame -- and the first person he blames is the very same person he has vowed to love earlier that same day: Juliet. "O sweet Juliet! / Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, / and in my temper soften'd valour's steel!" (3.1.77-79). When Tybalt returns, Romeo has stoked his own rage and says, "Fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!" (3.1.90). One can hear him fanning the flames of his wrath with the alliterative "ff" sound. When Romeo kills Tybalt, his rage is quenched -- but now his character crumbles. Having abandoned the love that made him swell and grow so quickly, he has cut off the life that gave him life. He is wounded and unable to accept the fact that he has wounded himself, crying out instead that he is "Fortune's fool" (3.1.103). Later, he will literally wound (mortally) himself, following a grotesque descent into the horror of his own soul, which has been governed by nothing more than appetite. The language is briefly elevated once more at the sight of Juliet -- but believing that she is dead and that death destroys all, his words do not sustain but only make his loss that much more painful

That descent bottoms out at the Capulet tomb, where Juliet is buried. Here, Romeo looks upon the grave and reckons that all men and


His sense of living for any saintly purpose has escaped him. He reflects the kind of nihilism that plagues Macbeth after he runs his murderous course. "Maw," "gorg'd," and "morsel" all complement the idea upon which Romeo has fixated: namely, that life is governed by appetites and that those appetites spring from and return to Death. Indeed, he calls the grave a "womb of death" -- and a hideous inversion takes place: rather than life coming out of the womb, Romeo promises to stuff the womb with more death. The language illustrates the despair to which he has succumbed. When Paris arrives to stop what he believes is about to be the abuse of Juliet's corpse, Romeo unleashes his fury upon the unsuspecting innocent.

Yet, Juliet is not quite through with Romeo. When Romeo enters the tomb, he is again engulfed by the beauty she emits (even in "death," as he supposes). His darkness is chased away by the "lightning" that seems to come out from her. She continues to draw him upward, unconsciously as it may be. Romeo states: "Call this lightning? O. my love! My wife! / Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath, / Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty: / Thou art not conquer'd" (5.3.94-97). He is even moved to ask forgiveness for slaying her cousin. However, perhaps because she cannot speak to encourage him with words, Romeo's upward swing does not last, and he again plummets, blaming the "inauspicious stars" (5.3.114) for the course that he has run before taking his own life.

In conclusion, Romeo's character is illustrated by his use of language, which takes him from the depths of banality and depression to the heights of true love and ecstasy, only to fall back (and fall further) to the depths of despair. From…

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Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Bartleby. Web. 26 Apr 2012.

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