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Hello, I'm Milo for About.com, and today we are talking about Shakespeare's tragedies. Shakespeare's plays have been classified into three categories, tragedies, comedies and histories. These categories were not created by Shakespeare and they're typically used as a rough guide to study his work. Many times, however, a play can exhibit traits from more than one of these categories. Shakespeare started writing tragedies from the very beginning of his career, such as Romeo and Juliet. In his tragedies Shakespeare presents his audience with a main character who is generally powerful and wealthy but who is flawed somehow. This makes his downfall all the more tragic. This character is, of course, capable of doing good and evil but a weakness is what, in the end, brings him to his doom. In addition to their flaw, these tragic heroes are always led to a dark end by a combination of external forces, falling victims to evil spirits or manipulative characters. The following traits exemplify Shakespeare's tragedies:Romeo and Juliet may be Shakespeare's best known tragedy. It is a story about two young lovers who die as a consequence of a series of poor decisions, communal strife, and misunderstandings. In this tragic story each one of them is led to believe the other one is dead and they commit suicide.This story's heroes are brought to their deaths by forces outside of their control such as misfortune, conflict, bad communication, and deception. The “flawed hero” characteristic of Shakespearean tragedies is clearly illustrated in Romeo and Juliet with Romeo. He is flawed in that he makes a series of bad decisions that unleash the events that bring him and Juliet to their deaths. As a wealthy and noble young man Romeo's fall is that much more tragic. For more excellent and helpful information on Shakespeare's work, world, and influence check us out at About.com.
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