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How far are Romeo and Juliet to blame for the tragedy of their deaths?

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Introduction

How far are Romeo and Juliet to blame for the tragedy of their deaths? I do feel that Romeo and Juliet are partly responsible for their own deaths but I definitely believe that others contribute to the their deaths. To find who is to blame for the tragedy you must consider how young Romeo and Juliet are, fate, love, the feud and other factors as well. At the beginning of the play we are told about the feud that exists between the Capulets and the Montagues: 'from ancient grudge, break to new mutiny'. Romeo and Juliet must hide their love for each other from their families because their families would most probably disown them if they found out. I believe if Romeo and Juliet had not had to hide their love then there would not have been a tragedy. They would not have needed to take any of the desperate measures they adopt. The feud leads to events such as the death of Mercutio and Tybalt; these events lead to the terrible tragedy. As Mercutio dies he blames the feud for his death: 'A plague O' both your houses, I am sped'. ...read more.

Middle

I believe that when Juliet goes to Friar Laurence when she is desperate and hysterical, if he had tried to calm her down instead of giving her the potion I doubt the tragedy would have occurred. I feel that fate works against Romeo and Juliet throughout the play resulting in their tragic deaths. We learn at the very beginning of the play that they are 'star-crossed lovers' and there are references to the workings of fate throughout the play: 'the yoke of inauspicious stars'. There are several times during the play where the audience feels that Romeo and Juliet's destinies are working against them. For example at the end of the play when Juliet awakes seconds after Romeo has killed himself because he thinks Juliet is dead, makes the audience think that they are extremely ill-fated. Also when Romeo slays Tybalt it is made clear that Tybalt was a better swordsman however, Romeo manages to kill him; he is amazed and blames fate: 'O, I am fortune's fool'. There are other fundamental events that take place because of fate. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could definitely be a factor of their terrible deaths. I think the reason why Romeo and Juliet fall in love with each other so willingly is because of their lack of experience in love and this is why they make such fateful choices such as a secret marriage. Although it could be seen as self-centeredness, I believe Romeo and Juliet do not really consider the consequences of their actions because of their youth and immaturity. Therefore I do not think one can put all the blame for the awful tragedy on Romeo and Juliet, as they are young and na�ve. However an audience in the 1500's might not have been so kind about Romeo and Juliet as adolescents were counted as adults so youth and inexperience would not warrant as an excuse. In conclusion I do not believe there is one character to blame for the tragic finale of the play. I believe that Romeo and Juliet do have an input in their deaths but I do not believe that their end is just. I think all the other characters contribute to the tragedy but I believe the main force behind the atrocity is fate. Fate works against Romeo and Juliet throughout the play resulting in their tragic demise. Laura D'Anzieri 10HD 15-05-04 ...read more.

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