Question: Do the tragic events of the drama, as of human life, frequently result from mistakes, negligence, unforeseen or uncontrollable events?
Answer: Yes. Desdemona unwittingly drops a handkerchief; Wolsey carelessly puts in the packet sent
the King a paper which contains the account of all that world of wealth he had drawn together for his
own ends; Gertrude by mistake drinks the poison intended for Hamlet; Hamlet, in scuffling, unknowingly obtains Laertes' rapier; Edmund's messenger arrives too late to save Cordelia; Friar John seeking
a barefoot brother in Verona to accompany him to Mantua, is imprisoned in a house the doors of which
are sealed up by the searchers of the town; Friar Laurence arrives at the tomb too late to save Romeo
and Juliet. From such accidental causes result the most tragic consequences.
How to cite this article:
Fleming, William H. How to Study Shakespeare. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1898. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/romeoandjuliet/questions/tragicevents.html >.