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What does the title of Romeo and Juliet mean? How does the title prepare us for the...

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gracia | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 11, 2007 at 5:51 AM via web

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What does the title of Romeo and Juliet mean? How does the title prepare us for the tragedy which befalls the main characters?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 11, 2007 at 10:15 AM (Answer #1)

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The full title of Shakespeare's famous love story is The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. A tragedy in a general sense means that things end badly; a tragedy in drama means that things end badly (usually in death, or multiple deaths), and, usually, that the terrible ending arises naturally from flaws or weaknesses in the specific characters, especially in the specific situation in which they find themselves. Therefore, we know that this play will end in sadness and likely with the two main characters dead, and that the deaths will come from who they are. In this case, the deaths come from the intensity of their desire, the fact that they come from warring houses, and that they are so young, all combined.
Greg

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