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Examine the Role of Fate and Destiny in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Examine the Role of Fate and Destiny in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In William Shakespeare's Tragic play Romeo and Juliet the role of fate and destiny is not only significant but in many ways recurring. In 16th Century England, under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I, fate and destiny was thought to be fact, everything was 'written in the stars' much like today's horoscopes. This was an era that believed in fairies, where superstition was, in many ways, stronger than fact. Therefore in the prologue when it states 'A pair of star-crossed lovers', the audience would have been drawn to the play, then as it continues to say that they 'take their lives' the audience would have been waiting for the story to pan out, knowing that destiny would bring a pair together before fate tears them apart. ...read more.

Middle

Some cases of this are when Romeo refers to "the yoke of unsuspicious stars" at the end of the play and before Capulet feast when Romeo says "I fear, too early; for my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars". This last quote is possibly one of the most important relating to fate and destiny in the play. What happens after this is Romeo meets and falls for Juliet and the story told in the prologue begins to all fall into place. The role of fate may be held responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet as if one of a series of events hadn't taken place perhaps the deaths of Romeo and Juliet wouldn't have either. Also with the superstitious audience when Mercutio calls for "A plague on both your houses" the crowd may hold him responsible for the deaths. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even Friar Lawrence who married the couple only done so because he wanted the feud to be patched up, but of course this couldn't happen in time for the deaths to be prevented. Another form of fate and destiny, which plays a major part in the play, is the premonition. A good example of this is Juliet's saying in Act 3, Scene 5 "Methinks I see now thou art so low. As one dead in the bottom of a tomb" This directly points to the plays outcome and the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet which both happen in the tomb. Another interesting moment in the play is when Mercutio plays up Tybalt's swordsmanship, saying he "keeps time, distance, and proportion" Is it therefore coincidence that it's these skills which end up killing Mercutio himself? Talk of fate and destiny however must surely come from and be heavily linked with the gods. ...read more.

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