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Describe how William Shakespeare makes fate the main theme of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, written by the ever-famous William Shakespeare, is an eloquent story of passionate love between two teenage individuals of a time long ago. These individuals, Romeo and Juliet, fall helplessly in love with each other, in spite of the fact that their families, both upper class, have been enemies for generations. The two lovers therefore strive to maintain their ardent bond with each other in secret. They also encounter various obstacles along the way and suffer serious consequences, such as Romeo's banishment to Mantua and the obligatory marriage of Juliet to Paris. In efforts to overcome such hindrances to their love, Juliet feigns her death as planned. However, as a result of miscommunication, Romeo takes the news seriously, and thus, being propelled by zealous devotion, both use death as the key to unity. A variety of themes are implicated throughout the play. Fate, in particular, is well demonstrated. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, Romeo states immediately before his death,"O, here / Will I set up my everlasting rest / and shake the yoke of inauspicious stars / from this world-wearied flesh!..." Again, "fate" is replaced with "stars" to strengthen the meaning of fate and create a mental image of it, as well. Truly, Shakespeare cleverly reinforces the theme of fate through the motif of stars. As the motif of stars represents the theme of fate, so does the character of Friar Lawrence. The friar soon begins to recognize the haplessness of the situation, finding ways to work around fate. He states, "...Fear comes upon me. / O, much I fear some ill unthrifty thing" revealing his sentience of fate and the consequences it has inevitably brought about. Finally, after all such consequences have taken place, Friar Lawrence yields to almighty fate by admitting, "A greater power than we can contradict / Hath thwarted our intents..." ...read more.

Conclusion

The same is manifested in his last words, "Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on / the dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark!" Again, Romeo conveys his helplessness to the almighty power of fate by cleverly personifying fate as his guiding pilot. In addition, Romeo considers himself and others "...writ in sour misfortune's book!" Romeo believes that fate has predetermined his unfavourable destiny (as having been written in the perpetual book of misfortune). Shakespeare admirably and cleverly utilizes Romeo to develop and convey the substantial theme of fate. Shakespeare ingeniously expresses his view of fate through this renowned literary work, Romeo and Juliet. He conveys that fate exists as the inevitable, unalterable, and omnipotent force that predetermines one's actions, consequences, and thereby one's destiny. The play also implies that no one is exempt from fate's power and that all lives and all destinies are determined by it, alone. In addition, Shakespeare wisely chooses the motif of stars to reinforce his theme of fate. Containing a rich variety of themes and motifs, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet undoubtedly stands out as a brilliant work in the history of literature. ...read more.

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