Romeo And Juliet Summative Assessment
Although Friar Lawrence may also deserve some of the blame because of his ignorance, the person most responsible for the tragic ending of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is Romeo himself because he is both foolish and impulsive.
Romeo is the one most responsible for the tragic ending of the play because he foolishly agrees to go to the Capulet's party even though he knows that they have a longstanding feud with his family and because he impulsively decides to end his own life after finding out that Juliet has died. After Romeo and his cousin, Benvolio, run into the Capulet’s servant, Peter, he shows them the guestlist for a party and invites the two to join the party at the Capulet's house. Benvolio, who wants Romeo to get over his affection for Rosaline, encourages him to go. Romeo agrees but he interjects with “I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,/ But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.” (1.2.107-108). Romeo shows the reader his foolishness when he agrees to go to the party even when Peter, the Capulet's servant, tells them that Montagues are not welcome at the party. He knows that the Capulet’s are the ones throwing the party yet he decides to go because he sees Rosaline on the guest list and he wants to “rejoice in splendor”. Romeo also does not want to go to the party to see other women but solely because he foolishly has an obsession with Rosaline and if she was not attending the party then he would not have gone. If Romeo hadn’t gone to the party to see Rosaline then it is extremely unlikely that he would have met Juliet as their parents would have kept them far away from each other and thus they would not have fallen in love. Much later on in the play after Romeo kills Paris he descends into the tomb and lays him to rest. He discovers Juliet “dead” and upon seeing her he decides to take his own life. Before doing so he exclaims “ Thou art not conquered.
Beauty’s ensign yet/ Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,/ And death’s pale flag is not advanced there”...“Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe,/ That unsubstantial death is amorous,” (5.3.94-96, 102-103) Romeo demonstrates his impulsiveness when he says “Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe,/ That unsubstantial death is amorous” he immediately becomes overwhelmed with emotions and how death has stolen her because she is “yet so fair” Instead of checking to make sure she is dead or evaluating his options of living without a girl he has known for four days he impulsively decides to end his own life. Romeo even remarks several times as to how she does not look dead which should have been an indicator that she is in fact not dead such as him saying that she still has “crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks”. This is not the first time that Romeo has done something impulsive in the heat of the moment. In act 1 scene 5 he immediately forgets about his “love” Rosaline after having a glimpse of Juliet. Soon after he marries her after being together for a few hours and he also kills Tybalt without thinking about the Prince’s brand new law.