Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare analyze the consequences of the decisions made by characters in the play based on their intense emotions. Shakespeare makes this evident through Romeo and Juliet committing suicide because they lack belief in the complicated situation between their families ending well. Tybalt is a character whose tragic fate ends in death because of his abnormal passion for the feud between the Capulet’s and the Montagues.
Shakespeare demonstrates the characters Romeo, Juliet, and Tybalt as victims of their passionate natures. All of these characters have the common habit of listening to their hearts more than their minds at some points in the play which affects the way we know the memorable and tragic play today. Shakespeare portrays both sides of passion through Romeo and Tybalt, each a member of one side of the feud. By displaying each side of emotion, Shakespeare explores the consequences of the decisions made by these characters due to their feelings. Romeo and Tybalt both use an excessive amount of their passion to deal with their problems, whereas Juliet knows how to balance the way she listens to her head and her heart by dealing with her feelings towards Romeo when they are first introduced to each other.
The importance of balancing reason and passion is emphasized to help one make rational decisions when dealing with difficult situations. This is demonstrated in Act 2, Scene 2 where Romeo professes his love for Juliet, however, she warns him that things are moving too fast while saying that she mirrors the same feelings. Shakespeare uses imagery when Juliet initially says, “Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,” in her monologue. This is used to accentuate the fact that it is dark so Romeo has no evidence to prove that his words are affecting her. The tone is also used as Juliet conveys her anger towards Romeo as he overheard her talking about the confusing idea of her love for a Montague. “I should have been more strange, I confess, but thou overheard, ere I was ‘ware, My true love’s passion. Therefore pardon me, and not impute this yielding to light love, Which the dark night hath so discovered.” She displayed maturity and determination as she snapped Romeo back into the reality of the situation. Thus, Shakespeare demonstrates the idea of balancing reason and passion through Juliet as she handles the situation responsibly after thinking about the possible consequences that may occur thoroughly.
The idea of being too passionately involved in a particular situation could lead to terrible consequences for the person and those around them. A character who is heavily engrossed with the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets is Tybalt, a man who cannot control his violent nature whereas Romeo is unable to handle certain instances when in love. This is further analyzed in Act 3 Scene 1 where Tybalt is itching to fight with Romeo, however, he attempts to settle him down, claiming that he has his reasons not to fight him. “I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise, till thou shalt know the reason of my love. And so, good Capulet—which name I tender as dearly as my own—be satisfied.” Shakespeare makes the use of dramatic irony evident in this statement as the audience is aware of the meaning behind Romeo’s words, however, the other characters in this scene could not comprehend his puzzling reason as to why he refused to battle with one of his family’s mortal enemies. The tone is implicated through Tybalt as he expresses his anger about the pain the Montagues have caused him. “Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries that thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.” It is implied that Tybalt’s anger was directed towards the Montague family as it is not clear whether Romeo has caused Tybalt physical harm in the past. It is evident that the feud has mentally and physically drained Tybalt, however, he refused to admit this to Romeo. This may have prevented Mercutio and his death. In this way, Shakespeare acquainted us with the idea that the consequences that may occur, without proper control over our passionate nature, will not turn out well though the tragic ending for Tybalt and Romeo.
Shakespeare showcases the consequences of violence through the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. This feud is the main source of many of the complications throughout the play. The prologue sets a doomed tone as it briefly outlines what happens in the play. Shakespeare portrays Tybalt as a bitter person who acts upon his emotions fiercely. If Tybalt did not take the feud further than intended, Mercutio, Romeo, and Juliet would not have died caught in the crossfire. In a way, all characters in the play are affected negatively by the feud.
Hate is the source of many of the reasons why many people deal with war and death. The feud between the Montagues and the Capulets was the main reason why all citizens in Verona suffered, including their beloved children who were born into the ‘fatal loins’ of their parents. The meaning behind the establishment of the feud is not yet determined, however, the prologue explains that it had lasted a long time before the events in the play took place. “From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” Rhyme is used to emphasize the point that this enduring feud will continue to repeat in the generations to come unless something is done to end it. The prologue sets a somber tone for the rest of the play as it foreshadows that the death of Romeo and Juliet will end the long-lasting feud. “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life whose misadventured piteous overthrows doth with their parent’s strife.” Dramatic irony is evident as we are made aware of the feud being the cause of Romeo and Juliet’s death before the event befell in the play. Shakespeare also uses this to diminish our impression of Romeo and Juliet’s love lasting forever as he raises awareness of the fact that life is definitely not a fairytale as not all people who fall in love will end up living happily ever after. Therefore, Shakespeare explicitly states that hate and anger will determine our fate in an unfortunate manner.
Dwelling too much on past events will lead to many problems in the future that are difficult to repair. Tybalt resents the events which occurred in his family’s history and strives to mend the past mistakes others have made to hurt his ancestors. In Act 1, Scene 5, Tybalt makes this clear by saying, “Now, by the stock and honor of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin.” Rhyme is used to add emphasis towards his hatred for the Montague family as he believes that killing Romeo would not be considered a sinful act in his eyes. However, Tybalt takes things to a new extent by murdering Mercutio, a man who had nothing to do with the feud. In Act 3 Scene 1, Romeo exhibits his anger by slaying Tybalt. “Mercutio’s soul is but a little way above our heads, staying for thine to keep him company. Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.” Shakespeare uses imagery to demonstrate how fresh Mercutio’s death was and how it greatly affected Romeo as they were extremely close. Hence, those who are like Tybalt and fail to live in the present will encounter many complications throughout their lives, including death.
Therefore, Shakespeare exposes the consequences of what loving or hating someone will bring through the play, Romeo and Juliet. This is majorly conveyed through the characters Romeo, Juliet, and Tybalt as they all die due to the aftermath of the feud. We are taught to think about our situations thoroughly before acting upon them, as it may result in serious issues that are difficult to resolve.