Romeo And Juliet, Human Ignor. Essay, Research Paper
In the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare we see the idea of human ignorance. Characters who act without full information often trigger the tragic events. In Romeo and Juliet there are a number of examples of human ignorance, which hasten the central tragedy, the death of both Romeo and Juliet. One example of human ignorance is the fight between Romeo and Tybalt that ends in Tybalt’s death. Another example of ignorance is Lord Capulet pushing Juliet to marry Paris after Tybalt’s death. Finally, in Act 5 we see an example of Romeo acting on incomplete information when he drinks the poison he obtained from the apothecary. All of these events hasten the central tragedy.
One act of ignorance occurs along with the death of Tybalt. His death was caused by a lack of information and also because of his hot temper. Mercutio and Benvolio were talking on a street corner in Verona when Tybalt shows up. Tybalt tests Mercutio’s temper as a friend. Then, Romeo enters and Tybalt challenges him to a duel. Not knowing that they are now cousins. Romeo refuses to fight him, and instead wishes him well. Mercutio is angered by his friend’s reply, draws his sword and duels with Tybalt. Romeo intervenes, but this gives Tybalt the chance to stab Mercutio under Romeo’s arm. Mercutio is mortally wounded and curses the Capulet and the Montague families with a plague on both houses. When Benvolio returned with the news of Mercutio’s death, Romeo said “This day’s black fate on mo days doth depend; This but begins the woe the others must end” (3:1:105-106). By this Romeo means that darker days are to follow and that Mercutio s death is just the beginning of the sorrow that will later arrive. Romeo is right for when Tybalt returns he is slain by Romeo. The Prince then bans Romeo from the city of Verona. This leads to the central tragedy because the Friar and others try to come up with a plan that will allow Romeo to see Juliet and then take her back to Mantua with him, but their plan fails.
Another act of ignorance occurs when Lord Capulet arranges for Paris to marry Juliet. He speaks of his daughter’s distress, believing that Juliet is grieving excessively over the death of her cousin, Tybalt. When in turn, she is actually grieving over Romeo s banishment. Paris indicates a willingness to delay his marriage to Juliet during this time of woe, but Lord Capulet says that the marriage of Paris and Juliet should take place in three days. Juliet is very upset by this announcement and refuses to marry Paris. Lord Capulet then says “I tell thee what-get thee to church a Thursday Or never after look me in the face. Speak not, reply not, do not answer me” (3:4:166-168)! He is saying that she should either show up at church on that Thursday or to never look him in the face again. This leads to the central tragedy for Lord Capulet forces her to marry Paris or to never return to their household again. Juliet gets desperate for she is rushed and has to marry the Count. All the preparations for the wedding are rushed thus leading to all the plans for Romeo and Juliet to reunite to be rushed as well.
Romeo did the last example of a character acting without full information. Romeo hears from one of his servants that Juliet lies dead in the Capulet’s tomb. On the basis of this incomplete report (Juliet is not dead but only drugged), Romeo seeks out an apothecary to provide him with poison. He stands over Juliet’s body, saying that not even death can conquer her beauty. He kisses Juliet, takes the apothecary’s swiftly acting poison and drinks it while saying “Come, bitter conduct; come, unsavory guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark! Here’s to my love! O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die (5:3:116-120). What Romeo said was that he was ready for death for it is the only way he could be with Juliet. If Romeo had waited he would’ve realized that Juliet wasn’t actually dead. Just then, Friar Laurence appears and sees that he is too late to save Romeo from his rash and misguided suicide. He then enters the tomb just as Juliet wakes from her slumber. Friar Laurence tells Juliet that Romeo is dead. She takes Romeo’s dagger from its sheath and stabs herself to death when Friar Laurence is distracted by some incidental noise from outside.
These acts of human ignorance and incomplete information all helped hasten the central tragedy. There are a number of ignorant acts in the tragedy by William Shakespeare. These events that are based on incomplete information make the central tragedy seem even greater, yet it makes the play more interesting. These ignorant acts teach the characters to get along with each other by the end of the play for if they argue it will lead to a great loss.