Foreshadowing In Romeo And Juliet Essay Example

The play Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare follows the story of sixteen year old Romeo Montague and thirteen year old Juliet Capulet falling in love and dying together. Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses a lot of foreshadowing that gives the reader hints of things to happen. From the chorus of the play the fates of Romeo and Juliet are revealed but how everything transpires is not. That is where the usage of foreshadowing comes into play. To briefly explain, foreshadowing is a literary device that alludes to future events. While there are many other literary devices used throughout the play, foreshadowing is a significant device used many times.

To begin with, one example of foreshadowing is the foreshadowing of Tybalt and Mercutio’s fight and death. Tybalt, who is Juliet’s cousin, is known to be aggressive and has already committed acts that show his aggressive behaviour. Like when he escalated the street fight and tried to kill Romeo at the party. Mercutio is much more of a jokester who cannot stop rambling on, and is good friends with Romeo. At the beginning of act three scene one Benvolio and Mercutio are out on a hot day when Benvolio says, “The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, and if we meet we shall not scape a brawl” (3.1.2-3). Later in the scene Benvolio is proven right when they come across Tybalt who fights and kills Mercutio.

Another time Shakespeare uses foreshadowing is the foreshadowing of Romeo’s death. After Romeo consorts the marriage with Juliet he had to leave for Mantua. As he was leaving Juliet says, “Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (3.5.55-56). This alludes to Romeo’s death in the near future. At the end of the play Romeo does die by killing himself with poison in the Capulet’s tomb. This shows Juliet’s saying was foreshadowing because she did Romeo die and he died in a tomb.

One final example of foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet is when the fate of both Romeo and Juliet is foreshadowed by Mercutio. After Tybalt found Romeo he went to confront him but Mercutio fought in Romeo’s place. This resulted in Mercutio being fatally stabbed by Tybalt causing his death. However with his last breaths Mercutio says, “Or I shall faint. A plague a’both your houses!” (3.1.102) With Mercutio’s final words he wishes misfortune on both Romeo and Tybalt’s houses, the Montague house and the Capulet house. The misfortune Mercutio wished on their houses did come true in the form of Romeo and Juliet’s death.

In conclusion, William Shakespeare uses the literary device foreshadowing plenty of times throughout Romeo and Juliet. The foreshadowing of Tybalt and Mercutio’s fight, Romeo’s death and both Romeo and Juliet’s fate are all prominent examples of Shakespeare’s usage of foreshadowing. If people looked back at their own lives like a play and analyze the decisions they made, is there anything that could have foreshadowed where they are today?


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