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Numerous plays, especially tragedies, have characters that exhibit misconception of themselves and their world. It is this misconception that ultimately makes them destroy and perpetuate this illusion or behavior that clearly shows the central them of the play. The following essay will explore the character of Juliet from Shakespeare’s famous play “Romeo and Juliet” as one of such characters with an illusion.
Juliet is the main personage of Shakespeare’s story Romeo and Juliet. As most recall from the play she fell in love with a boy named Romeo. Since the two lovers were from warring families, they did not have an opportunity to form a family and were not permitted to love each other. The misconception of the main characters in Romeo and Juliet can be summarized with a proverb “Put all your dreams in one hand and crap in another. See which one gets filled first”. After Romeo and Juliet met, Juliet had only positive perceptions and beliefs regarding their future. Destroying or perpetuating this illusion contributes to a central theme of the play, i.e. tragic love when she could not live and love Romeo and when the two died.
Juliet’s illusion involved the following two things. One thing is that she believed that love can help one overcome any difficulty, any challenge and any hardship. In reality, love contributed to the suicide of the two lovers who could not actually view the reality objective and could not cope with the problems. The other thing is that Juliet was convinced that without Romeo there was no meaning in her life. In other words, Juliet’s illusion was that she believed she would not fall in love again and would not be happy without Romeo. While to some readers such belief might sound as very romantic, in reality this illusion, different from reality, contributes only to disasters. Such illusion represents the tragic flaw of thinking that ultimately results in a tragic fall.
The “resolution” that comes of the tragic drama is well-known: both Romeo and Juliet die because they believed they would not be able to live without each other. The illusions in which the main characters lived, despite romantic intent, contributed to the tragic fall of young lovers. Juliet was not able to fight the system of controls imposed on her by her family. Her illusions broke against the hard reality.
Finally, it is necessary to note that Juliet, like characters in many other stories had misconceptions of herself and of the real world. She was convinced that love and loving was the most important thing in love that would surely help find the way for the two lovers. In the real world, love did not actually help. Juliet also was strongly convinced that Romeo was the only meaning of her life, the purpose of life and the motivation to live. She denied the reality with different men and many other life pleasures and chose to commit suicide just like Romeo. In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, the misconception, the inability to weigh pros and cons as well as view the reality objectively contributed to the crash of illusions and the ultimate dismay of the main heroine.
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