At the end of Romeo and Juliet, how does Shakespeare pull the audience from the grief and back to feeling hopeful about human nature?
The ending of Romeo and Juliet is among the most tragic in all of English literature. Both young lovers, as well as Paris, lie slain, victims of a long-standing feud between two rival families. As the Prince says in the play's final lines:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Yet the story does end on a somewhat hopeful note. The deaths of the two young lovers finally bring about an end of hostilities between the houses of Capulet and Montague. Capulet and Montague take each other's hand and promise to build memorials to the couple, and to bring about what the Prince calls a "gloomy peace." So there is hope for the future. Through their deaths, Romeo and Juliet help ensure that no other young people will have to die as a result of the feud.