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Do you agree that Romeo and Juliet's relationship is determined by Fate? Look carefully at both the events of the play and Shakespeare's choice of language when considering your argument.

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Introduction

Do you agree that Romeo and Juliet's relationship is determined by Fate? Look carefully at both the events of the play and Shakespeare's choice of language when considering your argument. The opening address to the audience states that Romeo and Juliet are "star-crossed" - this is a clear implication of fate controlling the characters of the play. This sense of fate that is portrayed to the audience from the beginning is not just confined to the audience of the play, the characters are aware of the existence of fate. In one scene Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead, he says, "Then I defy you, stars" which reflects the idea that Romeo and Juliet's love is in opposition to the stars. I think that fate is significant in the play but Romeo and Juliet's deaths cannot be blamed entirely on fate. Yes, ultimately it was fate that killed Romeo and Juliet but the actions of characters in the play where they demonstrated free will did contribute to their deaths. ...read more.

Middle

Neither chose to live in a house that hated another so passionately. Both Romeo and Juliet knew that their marriage had to stay secret. Romeo and Juliet understood how miserable their parents would make their lives; this secrecy meant the couple had to turn to other people for advice, help and guidance. Juliet turned to the Nurse. The Nurse gives bad advice to Juliet; despite being a friend the Nurse probably does not have Juliet's best interests at heart. She is employed by the Capulet house and does not want to do something that could upset Capulet and Lady Capulet. The Nurse shows this when she advises Juliet to marry Paris, the Nurse looks out for her best interests. She leaves Juliet alone and to some degree betrays her. Above all else in the play it was fate that destroyed Romeo and Juliet. It is stated from the start of the play that the love of Romeo and Juliet will end in death "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life". ...read more.

Conclusion

If Romeo and Juliet's families had not been embroiled in such a bitter feud and if the Nurse had not betrayed Juliet then the ending of the play would have been very different. Fate is something that is predetermined - it cannot be controlled, changed or stopped. Romeo and Juliet were no doubt victims of fate. Juliet's father's decision to move the wedding between Juliet and Paris to Wednesday instead of Thursday meant Romeo did not have enough time to get back to Verona and rescue Juliet from her tomb. Romeo and Juliet had no control over this and could not change or alter this event; they suffered bad luck and bad fortunes. The stars were against their relationship and they could do nothing to change that. Shakespeare strongly implies that Romeo and Juliet suffered bad fortunes, one quote proves this point very well summarising the tragedy of the play, "For never was a story of more woe, Than this of Juliet and her Romeo" (Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 309-310) ...read more.

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