The play Romeo & Juliet from the author William Shakespeare introduces a passion filled love affair between two young adolescents. In a confusion filled world, Shakespeare contrasts love and conflict as to multiply the intensity and depth of the tragic story. The author correctly exhibits the strain on the characters and their inability to handle this level of intensity, and with a series of unfortunate events, this leads to their inevitable suicide. Juliets tragic flaw which is the most prominent of all the characters is her dramatic reaction to events and her inability to rationalize.
The first few scenes of the play lay the groundwork of conflict. Shakespeare shows the audience the two families and their hatred for each other through a brawl which later comes to the attention of the Prince who states “your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” (1.1.99). This is important because it shows an authoritative third party who can resolve any conflict between the two. In the same scene Shakespeare introduces the first lover, Romeo, who explains his love for another girl, Rosaline. This is an example of Shakespeare contrasting Love & Hate and how they can co-exist.
Much later in the play Juliet expresses her response to her upcoming marriage to Paris and says to Frair Lawrence “if in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, do thou but call my resolution wise, and with this knife I’ve help it presently.” (4.1.53-55). This shows Juliets over reaction to an event that could be avoided other than death. Afterwards Friar gives an alternative and begins to explain the dangers with Juliet dismissing them “give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!” (4.1.123). This is an example of Juliets inconsequential thinking. Treating death as if it were not the end.
Once Juliet returns to her relatively safe home, she begins to think about the possibilities that Frair had described. “How if, when I am laid into the tomb, I wake before the time that Romeo come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point.” (4.2.146). This shows Juliet actually rationalizing, and minutes later giving many examples of horrible tragedies of what could happen. Dismissing them all and drinking the potion anyway. However, none of the examples she gives comes true, but results in the two lovers untimely suicide.
In the scene following Romeos suicide, thinking that Juliet is dead. Juliet quickly decides to end her life as well, after uttering “Then I’ll be brief, O, happy dagger, this is they sheath, then rest, and let me die.” (5.3.169). This concludes Juliets quick, stupid thinking.