Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet book cover
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In a tragedy, the heroine or hero usually has a character flaw that leads to their downfall. Is this true in Romeo and Juliet? Why? 

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janihash24 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Because protagonists Romeo and Juliet are so young, the idea of their "tragic flaw" is considerably different from that of characters such as Othello or Macbeth. If we are to say that both these young people suffer from impetuosity and recklessness in their actions, that is as much as to say they are teenagers not yet capable of mature reflection. So, is that really a "tragic flaw" in the classic sense? I am inclined to say, "no."

Instead, Romeo and Juliet is more a tragedy of circumstances, in which missed connections and messages, and what might be described as "fate," determines their destinies.

Compare, for example, how Macbeth becomes a tragic figure. At the beginning of the play, he is a lauded military hero, a mature man with decades of...

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Valentine England eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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