We can never truly understand his reasoning but in general, people agree with his well thought out decision. Times have changed, language has changed, and the world has changed since Romeo and Juliet was written, but one thing remains: love can be beautiful, yet it can easily become tragic. William Shakespeare most likely had many reasons for ending the play in such a tragic way by killing both of the main characters. One reason could have been that too many stories of his day were ending with the characters living happily ever after. Shakespeare might have just wanted his story to appear more realistic to the general population.
If two families were constantly fighting, as the Capsules and Montague were, even in the technology-free age that this story was set in, the young, star-crossed lovers would not have found such easy ways to be together. There most likely would have been a little more predetermined hatred between the teenagers when they revealed their identities after they met. The second reason that William Shakespeare might have used such a tragic ending could have been that he had the foresight to know that the story old not have been such a memorable classic if the lovers had simply lived happily ever after.
There are probably a million other plays, songs, and poems about love in this “happily ever after’ cookie cutter format. Almost everyone has heard of the tragedy that occurs in Romeo and Juliet. Most people of the modern era would not have read the story had there not been such a memorable ending. William Shakespeare was a genius who knew that he had to write something shocking, as in Romeo and Juliet, for it to be remembered and read for centuries to come. He definitely accomplished his goal.
Shakespeare showed pure wisdom in the fact that he knew that the double-suicide twist at the end would leave his current audience and future audiences breathless. The third thing that Shakespeare more than likely thought about when he chose such a tragic ending could have been to show what impatience will do to people. Impatience is defined as restless eagerness to do something (WIND 229). Romeo was absolutely too eager to move things along with Juliet. In Act II, scene iii, Romeo tried to convince Friar Lawrence to conjoin Juliet and him in marriage in Friar Lawrence cell. This is the day after they iris meet in Act I, scene v.
This is a little quick for anyone, of any time period, not just in modern times to leap into marriage, Romeo and Juliet had been acting rash and were going against their parents’ wills the entire story. Shakespeare might have been trying to convey the message that most of the time, acting in opposition of your parents does not end well for the kid, no matter how old. If Romeo and Juliet had any form of patience, they would have stopped to think, “Maybe this is all moving really fast and we should slow it down a little. ” Shakespeare did not write the story that way, which old have shown that patience is a good thing.
Outside forces tend to interfere with two people who want to be together. This can often cause a lot of problems. This is the fourth thing that Shakespeare might have thought about when he decided to write such a tragic ending for his play. One outside force that is unable to be controlled is the plague mentioned in Act V, scene ii, lines 5-17. The plague was a devastating blow to the lovers, and they did not even know about it. Had the plague not come to Verona, Friar John would have been able to deliver the message to Romeo and both of the young lives would have been spared.
No one in the story or in real life could have controlled this force, which makes it all the more difficult to comprehend. The other forces that were working against Romeo and Juliet at one point were their parents. Their parents each hated the other family, which was obviously a big part of their demise. The Caplet versus Montague feud was a major theme throughout the story. The parents hated each other with all of their hearts, which meant that the lovers had to sneak around, behind their parents backs, just to be together. If the main characters had exemplified any form of patience, they would have lived apply ever after.
Above all other reasons, William Shakespeare more than likely just wanted to end the Story in a dramatic, worst case scenario in order to create the greatest impact. He knew that people would be talking about his story for many generations to come. Shakespeare was a genius that truly deserves recognition for knowing just what his story needed to last for about five centuries to this day and age with many more centuries to come. One alternate ending that probably every person that has ever read Romeo and Juliet has thought about would be to wonder what would have happened ad neither one of the lovers killed themselves.
To accomplish this alternate ending, I would keep the story the same up until the fight scene between Paris and Romeo. My scene would begin with Juliet waking up early from the sleeping potion to hear Paris and Romeo fighting. She calls out for them to stop fighting long enough for her to say something. Juliet expresses her feelings for Romeo to Paris and Paris finally understands that Juliet definitely does not want to marry him. When Paris’ page hears the commotion, he goes to get the guards. The guards call Montague and Lord Caplet into the tomb rear to clear everything up.
Lord Caplet makes the suggestion that they finally put aside their feud because he can see how happy Romeo makes his daughter. Montague agrees with Caplet and they live in peace from then on for the sake of their children. Paris ends up finding love, but he never lets go of the love that he had for Juliet. Everyone ends up living in harmony in Verona. The second alternate ending that I came up with was a tragic ending for the lovers Romeo and Juliet, but a happy ending for all those in favor of the Paris and Juliet romantic match. Just like in the scene above, this scene would gin during the fight in Act V, scene iii.
In my scene, when Romeo accidentally mentions his poison plan to Paris, they stop fighting to formulate a plan. They mutually decide that they will both be miserable without Juliet, so they each choose to drink half of the poison so they can be with her forever. The men split the bottle by pouring half into the hands of Romeo. As they “drink” it, Paris stops and only pretends to drink the poison. Romeo slips into the hands of death just as Juliet begins to stir. Paris lies to her by saying that Romeo knew that she was not dead but was so angry that he wanted to how Juliet the pain of missing a lover forever.
Juliet believes Paris, and falls in love with him just as quickly as she fell in love with Romeo earlier in the story. Juliet and Paris move to Mantra in order to begin their new lives together. The third alternate ending came up with is a modernized/parody version. This scene begins after Romeo has successfully received news of Friar Lawrences plan. In typical “Romeo” fashion, he considers killing himself. After actually thinking for a second, he thinks better of it and decides to go fetch Juliet once she wakes up. While waiting for Juliet to wake up, a groundskeeper of the graveyard walks by and sees Romeos lantern.
The groundskeeper has had a boring night, so he decides to pick a fight with the intruder of the graveyard. Romeo respectfully explains that the last time he was in a fight with someone, they fought to the death. It takes the man a minute to comprehend what Romeo has just said, but once he does, he runs out of the tomb to find Lord Caplet. He runs to Lord Caplet to inform him that there was a random guy in their family tomb. Juliet finally wakes up to see her lover. Romeo quickly explains that money has gone to get her father, who will soon find out about all the shenanigans that have been going on.
The couple runs off to Mantra to escape Gullet’s father. They move into a little cottage just outside the city. Shortly after moving, Juliet has their first child, whom they call Heeding. The lovers eventually sit down and talk about how rash they were for moving into love so fast a few short months ago. They realize that meeting, getting married, and faking deaths was all a little too much for one week. They also realize what this thoughtless, shallow love has done to Heeding, and agree to ivories. All of their possessions went to Juliet, who kept Heeding.
Romeo was kicked out of the home. Because he had no money and no family or friends to support him, he had to live on the streets. He eventually scraps up enough begging money to get some poison from the old apothecary in Verona. The sketchy potion does not work. Juliet finds out about the suicide attempt and sees how much she means to him. She decides that they can try to work it out for the sake of the emotionally unstable Romeo. They do work out their all of their many differences, slowly but surely, and live happily ever after in heir little cottage outside the city of Mantra.
My fourth alternate ending gives a happier ending than Shakespearean version. The main change in this version is that the Friar’s suggestion of faking Gullet’s death is put down by the girl. Instead of listening to the romanticizes plan of the Friar, she comes up with her own solution. Her resolution is just to hide out in Friar Lawrence cell until Romeo can come back for her. Friar Lawrence agrees that this plan had a better chance at turning out well for all parties involved. Word is sent through Friar John to inform Romeo of this not so elaborate plan.
When Romeo finally gets word of the plan, he is overjoyed about coming back to fetch his love. He leaves Mantra immediately to return to Verona. Once in Verona, he makes his way to Friar Lawrence cell. He can see a candle light coming through the cracks underneath the door. Romeo can not help but call out Gullet’s name. Juliet runs out of the room, extremely happy to see him. Friar Lawrence comes out of the room to speak with Romeo. The Friar informs Romeo that somehow word got out about him being back in Verona. Because he was exiled earlier in the story, Romeo was never to be allowed to enter Verona again.
Romeo did not even think of this as he rushed back into the city. Once he comprehends what the Friar is saying, he grabs Gullet’s hand and runs out of the cell. Romeo steals a horse from one of the guards of the gates to the city and throws Juliet on to its back. He hops on the horse as well and they ride off into the late sunset towards Mantra. The two star- crossed lovers lived happily ever after, together in the city of Mantra. This fifth alternate ending scene begins right after Friar John is told to stay locked up in a house as to not expose himself to the Black Plague.
Friar John does go into the locked house, but he waits until the coast is clear and wedges himself out of the side window of his room. He blatantly ignores the orders for him to remain locked up and begins the trip to Romeo to deliver the message about Gullet’s whereabouts. Because he does not want to be seen by all the people that know him, Friar John takes the long way to get out of the city: through the Slums. The people in the slums were not quite as aware of the dangers and effects as the Plague, so they were still outside, like nothing was even wrong. Friar John knew this and decided to go through anyway.
Once Friar John arrives in Mantra, he must find Romeo to deliver the message. The trip back to Verona takes longer than expected due to inclement weather and Friar John being tired from the journey to Mantra. When the two men finally arrive in Verona, Romeo bursts into the Caplet family tomb just as Juliet is waking up. Juliet sits up and calls out to her love. Romeo runs over and asks what she was thinking when she took the potion to fake her death. They sit there talking for about an hour, trying to catch up on everything that has happened in the last forty-eight hours.
Romeo realizes that he cannot be in Verona for this long because he was exiled. Once he comes to the realization, he jumps up to take Juliet back to Mantra with him. Just as the lovers were about to leave the tomb, Romeo falls to the ground. Juliet thinks he is just messing with her, but he is not. Romeo was killed extremely rapidly by the Black Plague that was carried to him accidentally by Friar John. Juliet is so devastated that she grabs the knife that was next to her grave and kills herself to be with Romeo forever.
The sixth and final alternate ending have come up with is completely efferent than any others listed previously in this paper. This scene begins when Friar Lawrence is making the fake death potion. The actual play does not describe this event, but it is something that obviously did happen. Friar Lawrence has actually been infatuated with Juliet for a couple of months. In this version, he is only about twenty-;o, so it is not quite as creepy as it sounds. When making the potion he looks up and Sees a bottle with a little red heart on the side. He has never used this bottle before, but can easily tell what it was meant for: love.
Even though he knows it is wrong, he dumps out he liquid of the fake death potion and carefully pours the love potion into the empty bottle. He takes the bottle to Juliet and has her drink it, assuring her that it will work for the good of someone who loves her. She drinks the potion, which immediately sets in. She is now completely unaware of any feelings that she may have previously had toward Romeo. Juliet has fallen in love with Friar Lawrence. Romeo never hears from anyone in Verona ever again. In conclusion, William Shakespeare showed his brilliance in the way he had the foresight to see what a tragic ending would do for his story.
Only the iratest playwright in history could have possibly known what the effect that Romeo and Juliet would have for centuries to come. With 154 sonnets and thirty-seven plays to his name, William Shakespeare stands alone as the name among the most famous playwrights. One of the main reasons for this is Romeo and Juliet. In general, people love to talk about this story because of the tragic ending for the main characters. This causes other people to want to read it to make their own opinions. William Shakespeare is a legend alone, but his plays are also the stuff of legend.