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Romeo and Juliet - Who is to blame for their deaths?

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Introduction

ROMEO AND JULIET Who is to blame for their deaths? "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare is a tragic love story ending in the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. The main cause of their deaths is the feud between the two families in Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets. However, there are many characters in this story that, to some extent are to blame for these deaths. The nurse is Juliet's closest friend and confidante who is also a mother figure to Juliet as Lady Capulet, Juliet's mother, has a more formal relationship with Juliet. The nurse is not, however, a particularly clever or sensitive woman and comes across as a comic figure. When Lady Capulet is talking about the possibility of marriage to Paris the nurse pushes Juliet to marry, telling her what men can do for young ladies, knowing precisely the young age of Juliet. "No less, nay bigger. ...read more.

Middle

In Act 5 Juliet comes to him for help and he thinks of yet another plan that is even more far-fetched than his others. He gives a potion to Juliet, which is to make her seem dead when she isn't. At this point I wonder if the friar is thinking more of saving his skin rather than to help Juliet. This also crosses Juliet's mind: "Lest.....he should be dishonoured/Because he married me before to Romeo?" The plan goes wrong, as the note never reached Romeo in Mantua. He tries to persuade Juliet to leave the dead Romeo but she refuses and he deserts her. Juliet then kills herself. Eventually the Friar comes forward to reveal the truth but he is given no punishment. The Prince excuses him with "we still have known thee for a holy man". The Friar is left to live with the consequences of his actions. Lady Capulet could also be blamed for the death of her daughter. ...read more.

Conclusion

Could Romeo and Juliet to some extent be to blame for their own deaths? Some might think that they were young, vulnerable teenagers misled in love. Romeo fell in love with Juliet the moment he saw her saying she danced like a "snowy dove drooping with crows" They talk to each other that night at Juliet's balcony, the next time we see them together is when they get married. They had only met hours before their wedding is this a sign of two mislead teenagers not knowing what real love is? I think everyone in the play to some extent contributes to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Ironically the tragic deaths of these two young people resulted in the two families uniting: "o brother Montague, give me thy hand" These are the words of Lord Capulet to Lord Montague after he sees his dead daughter. This makes them realise that their stubbornness and bitterness has caused so much pain in their families and resulted in the deaths of their only children. ...read more.

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