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Death: Romeo and Juliet and The Story of the Stone

            The meaning of death is one of the most complicated topics in the world, since each individual's death has a unique meaning. In general, death is the end of a person's life. Death not only means that a person is physically dead, but also means that one special combination of personalities disappears in the world. Everyone in this world will face death one day, and no one knows how to cope with the inevitable and final death. Although most people relate death to sadness, but it may not be always sad, some persons' deaths may make themselves and others feel better. Persons have different attitudes toward death, individuals may see either the fearful or the joyful side of it. On the other hand, human beings end their lives for a great variety of reasons. Some irresponsible citizen may choose to commit suicide, while others may die natural deaths. In both the novel the Story of the Stone written by Cao Xueqin and the play Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare, death is the main theme. Deaths in the novel and the play are caused by excessive love between spouses and family pressure. Misunderstanding and wrong decisions are factors that caused the end of characters' lives, and also characters are dead because they are loyal to their families. Thus, deaths in the play Romeo and Juliet and the novel the Story of the Stone are mainly caused by excessive love and impulsive actions.
             First of all, families' influences and excessive love created tragic love stories in both the novel and the play, and the influences of these deaths are different. These two couples, Romeo and Juliet, Daiyu and Baoyu all have tragic ends. At first, these two couples are all broken up by their own families. In both the play and the novel, parents control marriages. There is no freedom of choice of love for these two couples. "To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church, Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow-face! " (Shakespeare, Act 3, Scene 5, Line 154) Juliet's dad is mad at her, because she doesn't intend to get married with Paris.

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