You know, I thought I would go about this from a little bit different point of view, ... you know who is REALLY going to suffer the most? The PARENTS of Romeo and Juliet. Yeah, yeah, ... the feud is ending now, but those same parents, even if they are not guilty of escalating the feud, are certainly guilty of a sin of omission, ... of doing NOTHING about it. And you know what? That little fact is going to eat at them for the rest of their lives, ... rich or not, ... other children or not, ... they will not be able to escape that guilt. Now compare the length of that suffering with the short duration of the Romeo/Juliet suffering.
I think Juliet suffers the greatest misfortune because she has to live with the fact that she is alive while Romeo has died. I am sure she would have guilt, and of course, the loss of love to contend with. Romeo's pain ended when he killed himself.
An interesting question. I'm not quite sure how to judge misfortune, or the suffering of others, especially when they end in death. That seems to make several characters' suffering a tie. That said, I have a lot more sympathy for what Juliet went through. Romeo has been out and about in the world. I don't know how far things went with Rosaline, but he's been in love. Juliet has been kept "mewed up" for her whole life, and that seems achingly sad. Her life feels shorter and sadder.
Juliet does suffer a great misfortune, and her sex may be the catalyst in the "greater misfortune" in the tragedy, but both of the young lovers suffer from the ineptitude of the adults in their lives.
Juliet is particularly vulnerable because as a woman, she would have no means of supporting herself without a man in her life. She is dependant upon the fortunes of either her father or her husband, having grown up in the elite rather than the trade class. In additon, Juliet’s parents, particularly her father, sets a bad example and continually makes poor choices. The Roman Catholic Church is at fault as well, for the friar whom both she and Romeo trusts also misguides them. Lastly, because the Juliet in particular has no strong adult to turn to, she is forced to rely on her own immature abilities to reason. The combined results of all these factors result in tragedy.
romeo is definately more unfortunate. Not only is he not the only man in juliets life, but he gets banned from verona, his best friend gets killed by her cousin tybalt, doesnt recieve the the letter from friar lawrence therefore thinking juliet has actually died and kills himslef all because of her. not to mention if he hadnt met juliet he'd still be alive and possibly have a life with rosaline.
I personally think that Juliet is very unfortunate in a way. She found the one that she loved than he had to be sent away. Her cousin also died even though she didnt care too much about him and she had to deal with the pain of this all at once. At the end of this tragedy, she had to be the one to find Rome lieing there dead and she couldn't help but think that she had nothing left to live for. She didnt want to get married to paris because she was in love and married to someone that she did care about deeply. And like i said she has to deal with all her mis fortunes all at the same time.