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At the end of "Romeo and Juliet", why did Romeo kill himself for Juliet when he could...

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lady-lush | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 20, 2008 at 3:13 AM via web

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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?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 20, 2008 at 4:01 AM (Answer #2)

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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?

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

Posted March 20, 2008 at 6:38 AM (Answer #3)

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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.

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julz8433 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 26, 2008 at 12:42 AM (Answer #4)

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

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dollmoha | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 19, 2008 at 2:17 PM (Answer #5)

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the all died becouse the love each other very much

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tinkerbell97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2009 at 5:51 PM (Answer #6)

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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.

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tinkerbell97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2009 at 6:04 PM (Answer #7)

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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.

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

Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:11 AM (Answer #8)

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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.

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kate1993 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:19 AM (Answer #9)

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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.

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kate1993 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:20 AM (Answer #10)

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

True love

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jess1999 | TA , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:33 AM (Answer #11)

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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 .

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