Introduction Brendan McGrath
DIs and Lead-Ins Mrs. Roth
DQs and Analysis/Interpretation Humanities
Conclusion F Period
Mechanics and Format St. Patrick’s Day 2004
Romeo and Juliet Thesis Essay
In his tragic play, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare emphasizes communication in order to show the tragedy of misinterpretation. One scene in which there is a major lack of communication is when Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt. He refuses to fight because they are kinsmen, unbeknownst to Tybalt, so Mercutio decides to fight in Romeo’s place. In another scene, Lord and Lady Capulet think Juliet is crying over her deceased cousin, Tybalt, because they do not know she is married to Romeo. They try to wed her to Paris to liberate her from her grief, which shows a perfect example of a lack of communication. In a different scene, when everyone thinks Juliet is dead, there is a void of communication between Friar Lawrence, Friar John, and Romeo.
There is a vast lack of communication between Romeo, Mercutio, and Tybalt. Tybalt demands Romeo to fight him and Romeo replies, " I ... love thee better than thou canst devise ... So, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own, be satisfied" (page 119, lines 69-73). This confuses both Mercutio and Tybalt because they do not know why he would not want to fight Tybalt or why he likes the name Capulet now. Also, later on in that scene the same confusion ensues when Romeo interferes with Mercutio’s fight with Tybalt. Romeo orders Benvolio to, "Beat down their weapons", then he demanded, "Hold Tybalt! Good Mercutio!" (page 121, lines 87+91) as he steps in front of them, which gives Tybalt a chance to stab Mercutio. Mercutio has no idea why Romeo has done this so he makes a conclusion that Romeo is a traitor. All of this could have been prevented if Romeo had only told everyone that he had wedded Juliet, who made him and Tybalt kinsmen, therefore explaining why he would not fight him.
In another scene in which there is poor communication is when Juliet’s parents assume she is heartbroken by the death of her cousin, Tybalt, because they do not know she is married to Romeo and is crying because he has been banished. Therefore, they try to do what they think is best for their daughter by marrying her to Paris to take her troubled mind off her dead cousin. In this scene Lady Capulet informs Juliet about her father’s arrangement by asking her, "Weeping for your cousin’s death?" and continuing, "Marry my child...Paris...shall make thee a joyful bride". Juliet contemptuously responds, "He will not make me a joyful bride!" (page 161+165, lines 72,117-120,+122) and pleads with her mom not to make her wed Paris. Later in the same scene Juliet beseeches her father as to not force her to marry and he tells her, "Disobedient wretch! Get thee to church o’ Thursday or never after look me in the face!" (page 167, lines 166-168). Juliet never revealed to her parents that she married Romeo so they always thought she was crying over Tybalt’s death. Her parents have Juliet’s best interests in mind, but they don’t know that would only make her more miserable. All of this could have been avoided if Juliet had only told her parents she had married Romeo.
In the scene where everyone thinks Juliet is deceased there is a lack of communication between Friar Lawrence, Friar John, and Romeo. When Balthasar discovers Juliet is "dead" he goes to tell Romeo the bad news. When Romeo spots Balthasar he asks how Juliet is doing and he replies, "Her body sleeps In Capels monument." (page 211, line 119). When Romeo hears that, he is devastated and decides life is not worth living if he cannot be with Juliet. Romeo does not know the truth because he never received the letter from his mentor, Friar Lawrence. Later in that same scene there is a lack of communication between Friar Lawrence and Friar John. Friar Lawrence never warned Friar John how essential it was that Romeo was to receive the letter, no matter what. When Friar Lawrence sees John he asks how the delivery went and John says, "I could not send it." The Friar replied, "Unhappy fortune...The letter was not nice but full of charge...and neglecting it may do much danger." (page 218, lines 14-20). The letter could have been delivered to Romeo if Friar Lawrence told Friar John just how vital it was that Romeo receives the letter.
William Shakespeare emphasizes the hardship of misinterpretation, in his tragic play Romeo and Juliet, through a lack of communication between many different characters. There are many scenes throughout the play in which he shows a void of communication such as the fight scene between Tybalt and Mercutio, the scene when Juliet is arguing with her parents, and especially in the scene when everyone thinks Juliet has died. In his play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare shows that poor communication often leads to confusion and, more importantly, catastrophe. He does this to show the irony that immense misfortunes can occur due to the fact that people do not communicate with each other as well as they ought to, and when they do not dilemmas erupt.
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