R J Essay

Submitted By malondra943
Words: 1426
Pages: 6

Anita Mukherjee
November 12, 2014
Brown A° To Die or Not to Die

He uncapped the vial, releasing the pungent smell of death. He brought the vial to his lips, finally ending his life. These were the last few moments of Romeo’s life. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, more specifically, a famous tragedy. Romeo and Juliet are well known for being star­crossed lovers, killing themselves in order to be together for the rest of eternity. Suicide is well known as a way that people end their pain. People feel that their life is so miserable the way it is, that it is best to just end it. Romeo and Juliet both commit suicide, and that leads to questioning whether or not Shakespeare is romanticizing the act of actually committing suicide. Romeo and Juliet does romanticize suicide, because death is referred to as a solution for problems; a main character fakes her death; and death ends conflict. While reading through
Romeo and Juliet
, the characters constantly mention suicide as a way to fix any problems that they have. It starts off with Romeo telling Juliet that he will kill himself if she does not love him. Juliet warns Romeo about everything that would happen if they stay together, resulting in Romeo stating, “...And but thou love me, let them find me here: My life were better ended by their hate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.” (2.2, 27) Romeo is a young man, thirsty for love. He is experiencing something new, which he interprets as love at first sight, and he wants to bring this romance several steps further. The pair starts off by discussing all of the risks that they are taking. Romeo finally decides that unless he gets to marry Juliet, he will kill

himself. When Romeo mentions this, he is romanticizing suicide. Saying so encourages readers that imposing physical harm, is ok, if they do not get what they want. Romeo is encouraging committing suicide for situations that people are put into almost all the time. While Romeo threatens to kill himself if he does not get to marry Juliet, Juliet threatens to kill herself if she has to marry Paris. Juliet comes up with many different plans, “....rather than marry Paris/ From off the battlements of yonder tower/ or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk/ where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears; Or shut me nightly in a charnel­house, o’er cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones, with reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls; or bid me go into a new­made grave, and hide me with a dead man in his shroud…” (4.1, 69) Juliet threatening to commit suicide if she has to marry Paris is also romanticizing suicide. She reacts with teen angst when she makes these threats. Teen angst is generally known as a teenager’s way to rebel against what people tell them, but the problem is that Romeo and Juliet are both significant characters in the play. Because they are the main characters, this can influence anyone who watches the play to kill themselves if they do not get what they want, or to show their inner teen angst by harming themselves. Following this, Juliet poisons herself, so that people think that she is dead. Juliet is a main character in the play, and as mentioned before, this means that she has a great influence on the people that read or watch this play. Even at the beginning of this dramatic tragedy, Juliet’s love life was set up for her. Paris was granted permission from Juliet’s father to, “...woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart; my will to her consent is but a part.” (1.2, 9) Capulet giving permission to a man to get the attention of his daughter is already a big honor on Paris’s part. Given that Capulet allowed Paris to try and woo Juliet, it would make sense that Paris would finally end up marrying Juliet. This was

established at the beginning of the book,