What is the real tragedy in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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The most devastating result of the play is brought about by the chaos that is engendered by the maelstrom of emotions in all the characters, old and young.  For, if the older members of Verona had been wiser and more cautious in making their decisions, perhaps the younger members of the drama would have been saved from destructive fates.  This tumultuous effect of irrationality is set in motion by the Prince who threatens death, by Friar Laurence who marries Romeo and Juliet without following the protocol of his Church, by Lord Capulet who becomes so irate that he issues an ultimatum to his daughter that she cannot obey.

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I'd say the real tragedy is the fact that the adults are so self-consumed to allow all of the death to happen. If they weren't focused on their hate for each other and if they were paying the least bit of attention to what Romeo and Juliet were doing, they could have reprimanded them, grounded them for a month, and the whole situation would have been avoided.

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Most tragedies stem from a tragic flaw. The tragic flaw in this story is that there is no trust or communication between family members.  Power and control are the parental patterns of behavior that block any real line of communication to the children.  There are no real parents in this story!  The Friar and the Nurse don't have kids of their own, but they end up being the main mentors of the kids.  The Nurse was the closest thing to a mother that Juliet had and even she made horrible parental mistakes by letting the child do whatever she wanted rather than do what is best.  The selfish adults are the ones with the major tragic flaw!

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I see the tragedy of the young lovers embroiled in a family feud which they neither support not understand, but which forces them to their deaths. Their relationship is built on pure love,they are destroyed by pure hate.

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I would agree that the real tragedy was in the hatred between the two families. The parents hated each other so much that their precious children chose death over telling them the truth. Juliet faked her death rather than tell her parents she was already married to Romeo. Romeo died rather than confess to the Prince and his parents that he was Juliet's husband. If he had told the truth, he might have taken her away with him or even prevented the death of Tybalt and his reason for banishment. The Prince says it all in his line "see what a scourge is laid upon your hate that heaven finds means to kill your joys with love."
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I agree with the post arguing that the real tragedy of this play is that good motives backfire and produce completely unintended results. People make decisions, hoping to do good, but their decisions lead to extremely unfortunate consequences.  Much the same thing happens to Oedipus in Oedipus Rex.

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The real tragedy is that everyone makes hasty decisions.  That is likely what led to the feud in the first place, and then it was irreversible.  It's why Mercutio dies, and why Romeo is banished.  Romeo did not get the letter in time telling him that Juliet was faking, and so they both died.

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The real tragedy is that people keep doing what they think is best and it all turns out wrong.  EVeryone is trying to make things turn out well from their point of view.  Romeo is trying to stop a fight and ends up with Mercutio and Tybalt dead and himself having to run away.  Friar Laurence tries to help Romeo and Juliet and their families and ends up causing Romeo and Juliet to die.  It's all tragic because no one is really being a "bad guy" and yet things turn out so badly.

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