Although the play is a tragedy, where can its uplifting aspects be found?
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One area where there is an feeling of uplifting would have to be in the ending reconciliation between both families. For whatever it is worth, the deaths of the children have brought both warring factions together. In some respects, Romeo and Juliet have not died in vain because the feud between both families seems to have subsided with their deaths.
Another area where an uplifting aspect can be found is the words of the Prince. Throughout the play, the Prince has been unable to maintain order. His lack of control in Verona is reflective of a world gone mad and where righteousness has gone asunder. The ending of the play is one in which his authority seems to have grown in stature. He seems magnanimous by the end of the drama:
A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished;(320)
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
The Prince is able to speak of peace and act in a manner where his stewardship will safeguard the memory of both lovers. There can be an aspect of uplifting and redemption found in this condition where there is hope that peace will reign supreme in Verona under his watch.
The love that Romeo and Juliet share is one that is near perfect. Their deaths in each other arms represents how both of them are able to die in absolute love with one another and not have the reality of being test their love. Their death, while sad, maintains the perfection of their love. This can be an uplifting element to the ending of the drama. Romeo and Juliet win because they can finally be together, united forever in the love of the other.
Romeo and Juliet is a story about young love. It has to end in their deaths because young love is a fragile, once-in-a-lifetime thing and cannot last. As Shakespeare says in Hamlet:
There lives within the very flame of loveA kind of wick or snuff that will abate it.
The emotions aroused in audiences by Shakespeare's tribute to young love have been synthesized into pure orchestral music by Tchaikovsky in his famous "Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy." That music provides the best answer to the question of where the uplifting aspects of the play can be found.
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