How is the theme of death developed in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Death emerges as a theme from the opening of the play. In the Prologue, beyond "civil blood," and mention of suicide, the word death is repeated twice:

A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love ...
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage
From the start, therefore, we know that death will a theme of this play. This idea is reinforced in act 1, where the Prince, fed up with the feuding spilling into the streets, puts his foot down and declares he will kill any Montague or Capulet caught fighting.
Romeo and Juliet's love affair is always carried on with the fear of death hovering over it. Juliet, for example, early on in act 2, wants Romeo to hurry away from underneath her balcony lest he be caught and killed by her male relatives.
The death dynamic continues to unfold alongside love and marriage, as Tybalt kills Mercutio , and Romeo, despite his deep desire to...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 783 words.)

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