Romeo and Julie（t 1595) by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), as a play with a theme of love of a very young couple, must be the most well-known tragedy all over the world. People of all ages and countries have been fascinated by the couple who devoted themselves to pure love, although they are doomed to die eventually. At the time when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, the original story had already known to the Elizabethan audience by translations such as Arthur Brooke’s The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Julie（t 1562) or William Painter’s The Palace of Pleasur（e 1566-67). On adapting the original story for his own work, Shakespeare invented various drastic ideas for creating personae and plots of the play. To give examples, the most famous inventions by Shakespeare were to condense nine-month story to only five（or six)- day story and to lower the age of Juliet from 16 to ‘nearly’ 14. And it is obvious that these two changes are closely involved in the meaning of the play.
The main purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss tragic features in Romeo and Juliet. It will be focused on Shakespeare’s dramaturgy from the point of view of words and time in the play, because words and time are the most decisive factors related to love and death of the two tragic lovers. In the paper, by examining words and time in some scenes of the play, I would like to clarify the theme of this tragedy.