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Discuss the Role of Fate In Romeo and Juliet

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Discuss the role of fate in Romeo and Juliet From the start of the play, we have a sense that the love of Romeo and Juliet is doomed. The prologue even suggests this by mentioning heavenly imagery and the stars, which were then believed to change people's fate. The prologue proposes that Romeo and Juliet's love would be doomed, by mentioning the stars. ' A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.' This indicates that the stars have decided from birth that Romeo and Juliet's love would never succeed, and their fate from the stars, hang over them from the beginning. 'Death' also lingers in the prologue, insinuating that something bad lies ahead for Romeo and Juliet. 'The fearful passage of their death-marked love.' This is almost telling us that their love will not last forever and may end in death. Later in the play, when Romeo first sees his love, Juliet he describes her. One of the lines suggests Juliet is to precious for this world. 'Beauty too rich for use, for Earth too dear.' This line tells us that Romeo thinks Juliet is so perfect and beautiful, she should not be on this Earth, but somewhere much more special, such as heaven or with the stars. When Romeo and Juliet finally meet, they start with a dance and they almost instantly 'click', and their conversation shows this, as they carry on the metaphor throughout the conversation. ...read more.


These conjure heavenly pictures in our minds, reminding us of what lies ahead for them, stirring up a tension in the audience, remembering that Romeo and Juliet are two 'star-crossed lovers'. 'This bud of love by summer's ripening breath may prove a beauteous flower when we next meet.' Juliet mentions a flower in a positive sense, symbolising the growth of their relationship. Although in a negative aspect, flowers also die soon after, which could also propose what is going to happen. When Friar Lawrence speaks with Romeo (II, iv), the Friar warns Romeo of what may happen to him and Juliet, but metaphorically. 'Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast.' Friar Lawrence reminds us that with Romeo and Juliet's love also includes death, even though Romeo and the Friar do not know it yet. Later when Juliet and nurse speak, heavenly images are seen again but only as subtle hints. 'Therefore do nimble-pointed doves draw love, And therefore hath the wind-swift cupid wings.' This again, shows us that the roll of fate between Romeo and Juliet will turn from love into death. When Romeo talks to friar Lawrence again, Romeo seems as if he makes a hubris comment. 'Then love-devouring death, do what he dare, It is enough I may but call her mine.' This remark is hubris because it indicates that Romeo is challenging death. ...read more.


It becomes evident that the friar is saying Juliet's life will be destroyed if Romeo takes his life, it will be like killing her as well. The difference is, Friar Lawrence uses this metaphorically but later, this becomes real. Even though this is only meant as a metaphor, the audience knows it is a sign that fate will overtake their love and Romeo and Juliet will end up dying. After Romeo and Juliet's first night of love together, he leaves and Juliet gets a sense of something-bad happening. 'O God, I have an ill-divining soul. Methinks I see thee now thou art so low, As one dead in a bottom of a tomb.' This indicates that Juliet feels something bad is going to happen and it shows her feelings will soon be right. When Juliet has drunk the liquor that Friar Lawrence gives her to fool Paris and her family into thinking she is dead, Balthasar tells Romeo this. 'Is it even so? Then I defy you stars.' This suggests that Romeo has had enough. He does not accept fate, destiny or any rules of the heavens. This is a very potent line for the sixteenth century because the whole world 'controlled by fate'. Defying the stars is as strong as saying 'I defy God.' It would make a terrible catastrophe. At the end, it becomes evident that all of these subtle hints of heavenly images were warnings that Romeo and Juliet's love was doomed. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gemma Carey ...read more.

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