Romeo and Juliet
Many critics have expressed their opinion that Romeo and Juliet is "experimental," in that Shakespeare tested new variations on familiar themes. If this is true, then readers must look at this play differently than Shakespeare's previous historical tragedies like Henry VIand Richard III. To be a true tragedy, the tragic hero must be of royal birth, which of course neither Romeo nor Juliet can claim. These young people were aristocratic to be sure, but hardly royalty. Therefore, Shakespeare abandoned the ancient standard of Aristotle and drew from current life. It is interesting to see Juliet shift between a submissive and dutiful daughter and a mature, independent young lady within such a short period of time. Also, Romeo displays a personality that at first seems unworthy of pity, but later commends the reader's respect for his manly devotion to his love.