What are audiences left at the conclusion to a shakespearian play? Please refer to at least one specific text. -Cheers.

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sensei918 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most simple answer to your question would be that at the end of any of Shakespeare's plays audiences are left satisfied. By that I mean that they are given a sense of resolution and a sense of order to take away with them when they leave the theater. Shakespeare did not leave loose ends; his conclusions are never ambiguous.  You, the viewer and participant in the play's action, can be sure that you know where you stand when the play is over. Often he does this through one of the main characters providing an epilogue, as does Rosalind in As You Like It or Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream.

Conclusions might be handled differently in a tragedy, as so many people die during the course of the play. But, generally, one character remains to make a final statment and resolve the play, perhaps answering some of the audience's questions, as in the case of Horatio in Hamlet or the Prince, who finally settles the dispute between the Montagues and Capulets after the deaths of their children in Romeo and Juliet.

For Shakespeare, comedy ends with marriage; tragedy ends with bloodshed, and few remain standing. You always clearly know which is which.

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Romeo and Juliet

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