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A Pair of star-cross'd lovers". Can fate alone be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

"A Pair of star-cross'd lovers". Can fate alone be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare in 1599 during the reign of Elizabeth I. However, the origins of the play can be traced back much further. The basic plot can be found as early as the third century AD in the Ephesiaca of Xenophon of Ephesus. Much later, in the 15th century Italian novelists such as Dante and Bandello began to give it details which we now recognise as Shakespeare's play. At first the Italians claimed that the events were factual. The two names, Montague and Capulet, are indeed factual but individual characters are fictional, however most of Shakespeare's sources came from a poem written by Arthur Brooke in 1562 which was entitled "The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet. In this essay, I aim to find out who was the most to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. I am going to look at fate, chance, the feud, Friar Lawrence, the nurse and the lovers themselves to see who was most responsible for their deaths. ...read more.

Middle

The prince blames the feud at the end of the play. He says,"That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love". This proves that the feud had a large part to play in their deaths, but there are still some other characters that may be guiltier than first thought. It also mentions heaven as if to say God himself is punishing the families. Juliet even says to Romeo, "if they do see thee, they will murder thee." This shows that it is incredibly dangerous for them to be together right from the beginning. Friar Lawrence and the Nurse have known Romeo and Juliet since birth. Their love for their charges leads them to try and help but they become a hindrance instead. To begin with, the Nurse facilitates a meeting between them. The friar then marries them. "Till holy church incorporate two in one". This is done as a means to draw the two families together and end the feud but has the complete opposite of the desired effect. The friar's plan is almost entirely to blame for the deaths of the two lovers. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is reflected when Juliet says, "then, window, let day in and life out". This shows the passion they have for each other and is coincidently the last time they see each other alive. Romeo tends to lose his cool a lot during the play, and this leads him to do some stupid things. The most major one is that when Mercutio is killed, he goes on a hunt and kills Tybalt. If he had any sense, he'd have let his marriage to Juliet be revenge enough. Overall, I feel that fate had very little to do with Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Chance killed Mercutio, the feud forced them to hide their love, patriarchal society meant they had to go against their parents plans for them in life, the Nurse interfered when she could and Friar Lawrence's plan failed and led to their deaths. Overall I think Friar Lawrence is the most to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. He allowed them to rush into marriage and then failed to execute his plan properly and as a result both Romeo and Juliet died. Shakespeare's play offered so many people to blame, but once you start digging deeper into the story you begin to find that all events are interlinked and that some people's choices cause more devastation than others. Lewis Jones 10G ...read more.

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