Romeo and Juliet are different from Shakespeare's other tragedies in that it becomes, rather than is, tragic. Other tragedies have reversals, but in Romeo and Juliet the reversal is so radical as to constitute a change of genre: the action and the characters begin in familiar comic patterns, and are then transformed-or discarded-to compose the pattern of tragedy. The tragic world is governed by inevitability, and its highest value is personal integrity. In the comic world 'evitability' is assumed; instead of heroic or obstinate adherence to a single course, comedy endorses opportunistic shifts and realistic accommodations as means to an end of new social health. Romeo and Juliet, young and in love and defiant of obstacles, are attuned to the basic movement of the comic game toward social regeneration. But they are not successful: the game turns into a sacrifice, and the favoured lovers become its marked victims.