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Essay on Love and Death in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Othello

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Romeo and Juliet’s and Othello’s plots are both tragedy. These plays are focused on the destruction of the main relationships within of the plays. In Othello, the main relationship in the play is around Othello and his bride Desdemona. Othello, because of his jealous rage, murders wife who he later finds to be innocent. Romeo and Juliet, which is named for the featured couple, kill themselves in order to be together in an afterlife. They take their own lives because the world around them will not allow them to be together. It would appear that the marriages in these two plays are primarily based on love and should last, but they both end in death because the couples internal pain and sufferings.
Throughout history Romeo and Juliet is often portrayed as an ideal of romantic love, but this is not always the way it is seen by contemporary readers. In fact, according to the source that Shakespeare used to base his play, “The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet” Arthur Brooke describes the characters death as a punishment for their neglect to authority and their un-honest desires. This is most clearly stated in the following passage:
a couple of unfortunate lovers, thrilling themselves to unhonest desire; neglecting the authority and advice of parents and friends; conferring their principal counsels with drunken gossips and superstitious friars (the naturally fit instruments of unchastity); attempting all adventures of peril for th' attaining of their wished lust; using auricular confession the key of whoredom and treason, for furtherance of their purpose; abusing the honourable name of lawful marriage to cloak the shame of stolen contracts; finally by all means of unhonest life hasting to most unhappy death. (Brook...


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...more in common than most people think. They are both tragedies, both of the main couples die and sins such as gluttony and jealousy can destroy love



Works Cited

Brooks, Arther. "THE TRAGICALL HISTORY OF ROMEUS AND JULIET." Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project. N.p., 1562. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. .
DiYanni, Robert. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 2nd ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. Print.
Johnson, Ben. "The Holloway Pages: Ben Jonson: Works (1692 Folio): Love freed from Ignorance and Folly." The Holloway Pages. Clark J. Holloway, 2003. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. .
Shakespeare, William. "Romeo and Juliet: Entire Play." The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. .



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