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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Romeo & Juliet The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was pre-ordained by fate there was nothing that any of the characters could do to prevent their deaths. Fate is a thing that nobody can run hide or escape from it is just going to happen. The author refers to things like "star cross'd lovers". This shows the reader that they were "made" to fall in love and death mark'd love which suggests that they were made to die if they fell in love, which is also a warning of what might happen. However, there are also references to 'ancient grudge' and to 'parents rage' which suggests that it is not only fate that has a part in their deaths but also human intervention. Actually the part played by some of the characters directly resulted in the deaths of the two principal characters. Romeo's friend, Benvolio, has a great deal to answer for. He knew perfectly well that it was wrong to gate crash Lord Capulet's party. He must have known that the discovery of his friend's presence there would cause serious disquiet, especially to Tybalt. Nevertheless, he encouraged Romeo to go because he had become morbid after his break up with Rosaline and therefore needed cheering up by meeting other girls and as such compare his "lady's love against some other maid That I will show you shining at this feast," (Act 1, Scene 2, lines 97 and 98). ...read more.

Middle

This trick may chance the scathe you, I know what. You must contrary me! Marry, 'tis time. - Well said my hearts! -You are a princox, go ..." (Act 1, Scene 5, lines 82, 83, 84, 85 and 86). These words were designed to hurt. To be called an insolent boy by his uncle must have been very upsetting and hard to swallow. It must have made Tybalt so angry and humiliated that a duel to the death between him and Romeo was inevitable. In the initial stages of the romance, Juliet's nurse was fully aware of what was going on and made no effort to stop it. In fact she acted as an eager go-between and after being satisfied with Romeo's good intentions towards her mistress appears to be encouraging the romance. During a conversation between her and Romeo he asks the nurse to convey his greetings to his beloved and she replies "Ay, a thousand times." (Act 2, Scene 4, line 186). It was her solemn duty to her employer to protect his daughter from uninvited suitors. Girls from rich high-born families were seen as assets, as a means of trading up in the social hierarchy. This is evident from the conversation between Juliet's father and Paris prior to Lord Capulet's party. Paris discloses his intentions towards Juliet and Lord Capulet, although mindful of his daughter's age, agrees to the marriage: "But woo ...read more.

Conclusion

It was doomed from the start because these two young people broke all the conventions of that era. Juliet most certainly did not have her parent's consent and it must be inferred that neither did Romeo. It would be highly unlikely that the two families, who had been feuding for a considerable time, would have wanted any of their offspring marring. Nevertheless, it was an affair that could have been so easily stopped by those who were privy to what was going on. Not one of these characters, who were by the way all adults, took on the responsibility of bringing a sense of proportion and integrity to what can only be described in today's society as a sordid affair. A similar story in contemporary times would receive the attention of the police. The one thing that I find incomprehensible is the interaction between Juliet's father, Lord Capulet, and his nephew Tybalt at the party. Why he humiliated Tybalt in such a manner is, for me, totally out of character with the essence of the play. Knowing the background of the play I would have thought that the logical response of Lord Capulet on finding out that a Montague had gate crashed his party would have been to have him thrown out. The tragedy of his actions was the death of his beloved daughter. If he had allowed Tybalt to perform his duty, Juliet would have probably married Paris. ...read more.

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