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Discuss the role of fate and coincidence in the tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

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Discuss the role of fate and coincidence in the tragedy Romeo and Juliet Introduction Fate and coincidence is a dominant theme throughout the play Romeo and Juliet. The word fate generally creates confusion when used with the word coincidence. The definition of fate is "Power supposed to predetermine events ahead of time," and coincidence, "Remarkable concurrence of events, apparently by chance." Therefore these two words are similar; however, many people believe that there is no such thing as fate, others think there is no such thing as coincidence though in this essay they are both treated as true. Astrology uses the positions of stars and planets to predict people future and their fate. This has been used for thousands of years, the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it and it is still in use today and can be found in newspapers, televisions, internet and even through the phone. The Bible on many occasions forbids the knowing of your fate and future: in the old testament, Deuteronomy 18, Verses 10-11 " There must never be anyone among you who...practises divination, who is a soothsayer " the Bible also forbids the knowing of the future in Samuel and in the new testament in Acts. ...read more.


As Romeo is waiting he mentions that love consuming-death can do whatever it needs once they are married: "Then love devouring death do what it dare. It is enough I may call her mine." This can be seen as almost a challenge to fate to do its worst. This personification of fate here is a powerful dramatic device to help the audience's picture the doom threatening the "star crossed lovers". Later Romeo has a dream about his own fate which he mentions in the soliloquy in a street in Mantua, where he has been banished from Verona for killing Tybalt, who for killing one of Romeo's best friends, Mercutio. Romeo dreamt: "that my lady came and found me dead" But she gave him the kiss of life and he was revived: "and breathed such life with kisses in my lips that I revived" Shakespeare cleverly adds a twist as it is Romeo who finds Juliet dead, gives her a kiss but she did not revive. This twist will involve the audience when at the end of the play the events in the tomb are similar. Juliet and Fate Romeo is not the only one that mentions the sense of fate. ...read more.


If he hadn't have been stuck in the house he probably would have reached Mantua before Balthazar to give Romeo Friar Lawrence's letter with the details of Juliet's faked death. This would have stopped Romeo visiting an apothecary to buy poison to kill himself at Juliet's side, consequently meaning the tragedy would not have happened. Finally in the Capulet family tomb, the two "Star crossed lovers" take their life. This is very tragic as neither of them needed to die. If Paris had not challenged Romeo outside the tomb he would not have died either. When Romeo dies Juliet wakes up, if he had not had poisoned himself for another couple of minutes, Juliet would have woken to find him still alive so neither of them would have died. Coincidence plays its most tragic role at this scene. Shakespeare uses coincidences them very wisely so he can affect the audience emotions. The role of fate and coincidence is so important to the play as without just one of these coincidences many lives would have been saved Therefore Fate and Coincidence plays a dramatic role in the tragedy, causing tension, surprise and tragedy. Without the role of fate and coincidence in the play Romeo and Juliet would not be such a dramatic tragedy. Greg Burgess English Coursework page 1 ...read more.

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