And yet I wish but for the thing I have

In a comedy, schemes that shouldn't work do, and people who shouldn't get what they want get it. Tragedy is fully the opposite—the other side of the same coin: things that should work out don't. People who should get what they want don't.


The first half of Romeo and Juliet plays like a romantic comedy: Two young people meet at a party. They fall in love. They'll do anything to have each other. We come to know and feel for both of them. We hope against hope for their happiness. Then our hopes are dashed along with theirs.


The brilliance of Romeo and Juliet is in how much it hurts—no matter how many times you've seen or read it. In this way, it's very much like Othello. Part of this brilliance must lay in how far ahead we see this disaster coming, and yet, our continued desire to see things turn out differently. Despite the fact that we know for a fact what's coming, we still hope for another ending. We hope for a miracle, and that miracle never comes.


Considered the most famous love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet plays out in a very small, insular world. They are the only children of two warring clans. They are both, in their own ways, the treasures of their parents. But these parents, blinded by their hate for each other, betray and destroy their own children.


The two words that sum up Romeo and Juliet are


Almost. Almost.