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How much are Romeo and Juliet responsible for their deaths?

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Introduction

How much are Romeo and Juliet responsible for their deaths? By Sam Cumbee Romeo and Juliet were characters in a Shakespearean play of grand magnitude. They were both characters in high stature and great wealth. They were both a part of the two richest families in Verona, as the play points out. The two families were deadly rivals and Romeo of the Montague and Juliet of the Capulets fall in love and in the end, died. There are three different thought patterns that place the blame of Romeo and Juliet's deaths on three different topics. The fact that Romeo and Juliet both had doubts about the day they met and the marriage. When Mercutio takes Romeo to the Capulets ball, Romeo says (in act 1 scene 4 line 106-107) "I feel too early, for my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars / Shall bitterly begin his fearful date" meaning that he has a really bad feeling about the whole thing. He then goes on to say "With this nights revels, and expire the term / Of a despised life closed in my breast, / By some vile forfeit of untimely death." ...read more.

Middle

But Mercutio stays out and when Tybalt comes looking for Romeo, Mercutio try's to pick a fight with him when it is obvious that Tybalt wants nothing to do with Mercutio. When Romeo turns up and doesn't accept the offer to fight Mercutio takes it on him to act and fight. Therefore I believe that Mercutio set into motion the events that would lead to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Yet there is still one thing that remains to be the final school of thought. That it was all due to fate. The Prologue points out that Romeo and Juliet have fate against them. It says that their love is "death-marked," and they have no control over what happens. It is their misfortune that leads to the sorrowful and tragic ending of the play. Then Peter runs into Romeo and Benvolio on the street. It is this encounter that enables Romeo to read the list of names of guests for the Capulet feast. Had Romeo not run into Peter, he would have never gone to the feast, and hence, never even met Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

Because Romeo never receives this letter, he buys poison with the intention to kill himself upon seeing her dead in her tomb. It is fate that did not allow the friar to reach Romeo in Mantua. And thus, it is also fate that Romeo buys the poison and eventually kills himself by Juliet's side. Juliet wakes up from the sleeping potion and asks the friar where Romeo is. The friar responds by saying that some higher power has changed their original plans. This higher power is what people have no control over - fate. Through fate, the friar does not make it to Juliet's tomb on time. Romeo kills himself before the friar can tell him that Juliet is not really dead. This is not the friar's fault. Rather, it is fate that he did not get there on time. With this in mind I have concluded that was not the fault of Romeo and Juliet. Nor was it the fault of any one character. The only other factor that could have caused their deaths would be fate. Therefore I conclude that it was by the powers of fate that Romeo and Juliet died, and that they had no choice in their demise. ...read more.

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