How do the references to death and suicide in the play Romeo and Juliet help you understand the characters of Romeo and Juliet?  

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hilahmarca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The almost constant references to death and suicide, reveal Romeo and Juliet's fatal flaw that is responsible for their tragic end.  Whenever these two are faced with an obstacle they feel will prevent each other from being together, they act impulsively and turn to suicide as a remedy to their grief.  This impulsivity proves to be their tragic flaw.  Because they are so quick to respond emotionally to the events that challenge their union, they fail to act rationally in order to arrive at a more reasonable solution to their problems.  These impulsive behaviors are what causes them to avoid telling their parents the truth, and instead set forth a series of lies that forces Juliet into decision to fake her death.  Alas, their impulsive decisions and insistence to be together in death cause each to respectively kill themselves, even though it all could have been avoided with a little time and dose of rationality.