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Essay on Emotions of Sympathy in Romeo and Juliet

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In my essay I will be discussing the many ways in which Shakespeare causes us to feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet in the final scene of the play, after a brief summary of the events previous. In the beginning, Romeo and Juliet meet each other for the first time at a party. They fall in love and eventually decide to get married. As a result of Romeo killing Tybalt for revenge, he is banished from Verona. Juliet is being forced to marry Count Paris. A plan comes about that Juliet is to be drugged which would cause her to appear dead and therefore preventing her from having to marry Paris. However Romeo fails to receive the details of the plan and thinks that she is dead. He therefore returns to Verona to pay his last respects and end his own life. This brings us to the final scene of the play.


Firstly, the setting in which Shakespeare chose to act out the final scene of the play is effective in making the atmosphere extremely tense and foreboding. Churchyards are portrayed as dark and eerie places, and from the prologue, we are thinking that something unfortunate will take place due to fate, we therefore feel sorry for Romeo as he is going to be the victim of this greater power. “I am afraid to stand alone”, this shows us how the graveyard has a petrifying affect on the characters present. This causes us to feel increased sympathy as Romeo is horribly afraid as well as in a terrible suicidal state.

Romeo’s language in Act V scene III is one of the main factors as to why we feel so much sympathy for the two lovers: “Do not interrupt me in my course”, from Romeo’s emotive language we feel sorry for him as we are made aware of his determination to resign to fate and end his own life. “Why I descend into this bed of death...


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...r sacrifices of our enmity” this tells us how they realise that their actions have caused death and can no longer continue. “I will raise her statue in pure gold”, the word “gold” resembles how precious she was to those who loved her as gold is an extremely valuable metal. “Pure” reminds us of her innocence and youth which makes her death even more tragic.
To conclude my essay, I think that the main way Shakespeare makes us feel sympathy for the couple in the last scene is by constantly reminding us of how much Romeo loves Juliet and how he wants to commit suicide. He also makes us sympathise by showing how helpless Romeo is over his destiny, he can’t prevent their deaths. Romeo shows confusion as to why it had to be that way. Finally we are made aware of how much the couple were loved by others; this is how Shakespeare causes us to feel sympathy in the last scene.


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