Throughout Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses dramatic irony and foreshadowing to illustrate unreasonable decisions and impulsive behavior can only lead to regrettable consequences. From start to finish, Shakespeare uses countless examples of dramatic irony to build up suspense for the reader. Such as when Balthasar delivered the tragic news to Romeo that the love of his life, Juliet, was dead. Upon receiving the news of Juliet’s death, Romeo impulsively, decides to sentence himself to die by drinking a deadly poison that “will disperse itself through all the veins,/That the life-weary take may fall dead” (5.1.65-67). Throughout Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses dramatic irony and foreshadowing to illustrate unreasonable decisions and impulsive behavior can lead to regrettable consequences. From start to finish, Shakespeare uses countless examples of foreshadowing to build up suspenseful tension for the reader. While heading to the Capulet’s feast, Romeo silently whispers to himself, “some consequence yet hanging in the stars/Shall bitterly begin this fearful date” (1.4.113-115).
This helps the reader foreshadow that although Romeo knows by going to this party, a course of tragic events will take place, his impulsivity and irrational thinking causes him to attend the party anyways, leading to many ill consequences. In addition to foreshadowing, Shakespeare builds up the tension by using a variety of dramatic irony to help portray the theme. For instance, upon receiving the news from Balthasar of Juliet’s death, the audience knows that Juliet isn’t really dead, but asleep; however Romeo, overwhelmed with torment, does not even stop to think of the possibilities of her fatal incident before deciding to take his own life by drinking a poison so deadly that it “will disperse itself through all the veins” till the “life-weary taker may fall dead” (5.1.65-67). Through this use of foreshadowing and dramatic irony, Shakespeare illustrates how rash decisions lead to irreversible tragedies