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How far should Lord and Lady Capulet be held responsible for the final tragedy?

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Introduction

Romeo & Juliet How far should Lord and Lady Capulet be held responsible for the final tragedy? The final tragedy, to which this question refers, is the separation of Romeo and Juliet by death. It is my view that this situation arose out if a number of factors in which Lord and Lady Capulet played a significant role, but by no means were they entirely responsible for the outcome. The Capulet family had been in conflict with the Montage Romeo's family for a long time. The hostility between them seems to colour the attitudes and behaviours of many of the players. In this context it can be argued that the treatment of Romeo by Lord and Lady Capulet was an inevitable result of history and thus the outcome would have been unavoidable, whatever the catalyst was. From the start of the play, the audience knows that the love between Romeo and Juliet is doomed. The Chorus speaks of the two as, 'star-crossed lovers' and their romance as a 'death marked love'. Shakespeare introduces the concept of Fate governing the paths of the characters. Fate is seen to be the ultimate force controlling the actions and motivation of the players and is therefore responsible for the outcome. ...read more.

Middle

Lord Capulet verbally attacks the Nurse when she tries to defend Juliet's corner. (Nurse) 'May I not speak?' (Capulet) 'Peace, you mumbling fool!' Without the Nurse able to speak her mind, Juliet is left few people to turn to, as is underlined when she later turns to her for advice on how to deal with her situation. 'I think it best you married with the county' This shows that although she deeply cares for Juliet, Lord Capulet's influence prevails. The audience is left to wonder if Juliet had had the Nurse to consult, the tragic end might have been avoided So far, the influence of Fate has been recognised and with that, a failure of the Capulet's to support and care for Juliet has created the environment for Juliet to choose a bizarre and dangerous solution. The Capulets are mainly guilty of neglecting their daughter; there are many examples of Lord Capulet's behaviour, which made the impending tragedy more likely. Lord Capulet is seen to be uncompromising and expecting of blind allegiance from those around him. For example at the party, which is held at the Capulet residence. Tybalt sees Romeo and wants to make a scene but Capulet stops him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Responsibility for the final tragedy in Romeo and Juliet rests with Fate. However, the audience is left uncertain as to how the actions and motivations of the players may potentially have influenced the ending. It is arguable that the Capulets are merely the tools by which the inevitability of Fate is achieved and so their behaviours are pre-determined. This means that their alienation towards Juliet not only created a background in which she could make self-threatening decisions more easily but also the Capulets may not have had the freedom of choice to behave differently. Fate was in control. Analysis of the direct contributions by the Capulets to the tragedy also suggests that they may have had little choice in their behaviours. Much of Lord Capulet's attitude to Romeo came from years of hostility between the families. The greatest irony of the play is how the two families would find a bond and cease the hostilities through the tragedy. In conclusion, Fate was primarily responsible for the tragedy. Even if Lord and Lady Capulet had the freedom and the will to behave differently the audience is left to believe that a change in such behaviour would not affect the outcome. However, if the Capulet's were indeed 'tools of Fate' they would not have been ultimately and personally responsible for the events. Mike Sims. Year 11 English Coursework. ...read more.

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