At the end of Romeo and Juliet, why did Romeo kill himself for Juliet when he could have found someone else?

10 Answers | Add Yours

englishteacher20120's profile pic

englishteacher20120 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

As a previous poster stated, in Shakespeare's tragedies the main characters always die.  Each of these characters always has a fatal flaw.  Romeo's fatal flaw was that he was too impulsive.  Look at how quickly he ditched Rosaline for Juliet, how quickly he decided to marry Juliet (they had known each other for a few hours!), and how he killed Tybalt without thinking of the consequences.  In that moment when he saw Juliet "dead", he didn't think, he just acted.  Shakespeare even emphsizes how unthinking Romeo was when Romeo, upon seeing Juliet, noted that she still looked and smelled beautiful, not like someone who had been dead for a few days.  Well, yeah, let's think about this...SHE'S NOT DEAD!  But he doesn't get it.  He's impulsive.  That's his fatal flaw which leads to all of his troubles.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

That's a very good question, and it needs to be on the discussion board instead of in the Q&A section.

I had a professor once who said you can sum up Shakespeare's plays this way: in the comedies everybody gets married; in the tragedies everybody dies. Now, that's an exaggeration, but it does help to explain Romeo a little bit. It could simply be that in order to make the tragedy that much more "tragic" Shakespeare had to kill off Romeo. In classical tragedies, a character often does the "honorable" thing by killing or maiming himself, such as when Oedipus blinds himself.

Also, by having both Romeo and Juliet die, Shakespeare is showing how ridiculous the feud between the families has become. These two couldn't be together in life, but they are joined in death.

We could also say that Romeo feels responsible for Juliet's death and that he can't live with that knowledge.

sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think audiences over the centuries have been and will continue to ask that question - why did either of the young lovers go so far as to commit suicide?  The romantic view is that their love was too strong to live apart.  Deep affection and undying loyalty has married them to one another, and they would rather be together in death than to live without each other.

The not-so-romantic but entirely logical explanation is that Romeo - and Juliet - are just too tempetuous.  Having fallen into a passionate infatuation with one another, they have spent the play acting quickly and rashly and without much thought.  Infatuation, even more so than love, can cause humans to behave irrationally.  The dictionary calls it a foolish and all-absorbing passion.  This is the case with these two young lovers.  Having been swept away by their feelings, they have pledged their love to each other and have already committed deception to be together. 

Particularly in Romeo's case, this all-consuming passion was heightened by the fact that he had been banished for Tybalt's murder.  He has been sent away from his home, family and friends.  And now he will not have his wife.  In his mind - what else was there to live for?

jess1999's profile pic

jess1999 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Shakespeare wanted them to die to show how much they love each other . To show that they are unable to live without each other . In reality though , Romeo and Juliet were too young to properly thinking . As teenagers , they probably thought committing suicide was the only way .

kate1993's profile pic

kate1993 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

who or what is the main factor that caused romeo and juliet to die?

True love

kate1993's profile pic

kate1993 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

In reply to #4:

The main factor? Immaturity. Romeo and Juliet were too immature to think though anything. Lets start with the beginning... love at first sight? Romeo was very immature to fall in love without knowing Juliet. They're not even in love, it's simply "an infatuation, or obsession" (yes I did quote that from the new Harry Potter 6 trailer!!) They were also immature to marry the other. Romeo sees Juliet dead, and is too immature to think. He's just a little boy in a way. He sees an option, and he takes it. No thinking involved. Immaturity. Also, youthfullness goes along with immaturity. But if you ask me, immaturity is the reason Romeo & Juliet are dead. They act on impulses and never stop to think.

Okay yeah maybe part of it was immaturity...but a big part of it was true love.  When you are truly in love with someone, you will do anything for them...including dying for them.

And don't say "but they were young and immature".

No. No no no!  I know of two people her were both seventy-two years old and they both died for each other.  That's just one example, but I am sure that there are plenty more.

You cannot understand true love unless you've actually experienced it yourself.

tinkerbell97's profile pic

tinkerbell97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

At the end of "Romeo and Juliet", why did Romeo kill himself for Juliet when he could have found someone else?

At the end of "Romeo and Juliet", why did Romeo kill himself for Juliet when he could have found someone else?

He was immature. He had spent his whole life with Juliet taking random impulses without thought. Here's a quick option: suicide. And it's over.

tinkerbell97's profile pic

tinkerbell97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

who or what is the main factor that caused romeo and juliet to die?

The main factor? Immaturity. Romeo and Juliet were too immature to think though anything. Lets start with the beginning... love at first sight? Romeo was very immature to fall in love without knowing Juliet. They're not even in love, it's simply "an infatuation, or obsession" (yes I did quote that from the new Harry Potter 6 trailer!!) They were also immature to marry the other. Romeo sees Juliet dead, and is too immature to think. He's just a little boy in a way. He sees an option, and he takes it. No thinking involved. Immaturity. Also, youthfullness goes along with immaturity. But if you ask me, immaturity is the reason Romeo & Juliet are dead. They act on impulses and never stop to think.

julz8433's profile pic

julz8433 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

who or what is the main factor that caused romeo and juliet to die?

We’ve answered 315,694 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question