Discuss the ideas developed by Shakespere in Romeo and Juliet about the way that individuals respond to significant dilemmas in their lives.

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One way to approach this question is through an examination of Romeo and Juliet's specific dilemma. Thanks to the bitter long-running feud between their families, they are unable to be together in an open way. They respond to this significant dilemma by committing to each other and by conspiring to be together in secret. The wisdom of this decision is questionable, and they are punished for their impetuous behavior when they die by the end of the play. This might mean that Shakespeare is warning his audience to think twice before making hasty and dangerous decisions that must be carried out secretly.

Another way to look at this question is through an analysis of their love affair that celebrates romantic love and the old adage, omnia vincit amor, or love conquers all. Romeo and Juliet might die at the end, but they die together, and their love exists beyond the grave in everyone's memory, including the audience's. So perhaps their approach to their dilemma can be viewed somewhat positively, but the fact remains that two young people are dead, and the tragedy could have been avoided had they managed their dilemma differently.


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Romeo and Juliet

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