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'I am Fortune's fool'. To what extent is Romeo a victim of fate?

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Introduction

'I am Fortune's fool'. To what extent is Romeo a victim of fate? In the play 'Romeo and Juliet', which was written by William Shakespeare, fate plays a vital role as an amazing number of unlucky events happen to Romeo. By analysing the key themes, character dialogue and the structure of the play, I hope to find out to what extent Romeo is a victim of fate. In Shakespeare's days, many Elizabethans had a strong belief that stars and star signs had a great impact on their destiny. The Elizabethans believed that fate existed in order to limit people's ambitions and pride, and to maintain a sense of order in the world. Some people appear to be approaching a state of perfection; it is the role of fate to bring that individual down, to remind people that even the greatest human are below the 'Gods'. Fate may be described as being envious or jealous of its own position. This was a very large part of the Elizabethan's understanding of the universe that our lives were planned out before we were born. The major way of determining our destinies was by looking to the heavens. This relates to the play because 'Romeo and Juliet' are called 'star cross'd lovers' and also when Romeo hears of Juliet's death he say's 'I defy you stars', this is extremely foolish of him because he is defying what the heavens have planned for him. As a result of this he immediately goes, without even thinking, to buy some poison and commit suicide. Romeo and Juliet experience numerous misfortunate events in the play, beginning with their meeting at the Capulet's ball where the moment Romeo sets eyes on Juliet he completely erases Rosaline from his mind and falls in love with Juliet. Their love for each other grows fast in a very short amount of time but their families have an 'ancient grudge' against each other so the love between them is forbidden. ...read more.

Middle

Friar Lawrence also has a big influence on Romeo's actions and behaviour because if he didn't think that their marriage would ' Turn your two households' rancour to pure love', then they never would have got married and their love would have faded. But because of the Friars idea to marry them, which he only did for the sake of stopping the feud, Romeo couldn't kill Tybalt because he was now his cousin. Also if the Friar did not come up with the plan of the death potion then Juliet would have married Paris and got on with her life. The Friars idea, which he did only to help Romeo and Juliet, backfired, as Romeo didn't get any of the letters, which were telling him about the plan. The Nurse did not have a huge influence on Romeo as she did on Juliet because she pushed Juliet to wanting Romeo more as she complimented him lots, 'his face be better than any other mans', and she also did not stop Juliet in to marrying Romeo. If she had stopped her marrying Romeo or even if she was very against the Montague's than their love would not have lasted and they both would have lived. Finally Juliet influence's Romeo's actions and behaviour because she sends him her nurse to tell him that she will marry, which then leads to Romeo wanting to see her more as she is now his wife. If Juliet had never sent her nurse or even if the nurse could not find Romeo than Romeo would have thought she didn't like him that much and it was only a one nightstand and he would've gone looking fir another girl Many different actors have interpreted the character of Romeo in films and theatres since Shakespeare wrote the play. In Baz Luhrman's interpretation of the play, the viewer instantly is hit by a lot of Religious imagery and cosmic imagery. ...read more.

Conclusion

What he is doing here is he is defying and going against what he thinks the stars have planned for him. He thinks that he should have had a good life and that he and Juliet are meant to be together but now Juliet is 'dead' he is going against the stars. This also emphasises the belief in Elizabethans times that the heavens controlled all the people's lives. In conclusion, many Elizabethans believed in fate and destiny, they would have believed that Romeo was a victim of fate, and that fate had interfered with everything and because of fate the story had a tragic ending. It was fate conspiring when a Montague fell in love with a Capulet. Fate that the servant asked for help reading the invitation from Romeo and Benvolio. Fate that the messenger was delayed in delivering the Friar's letter. The Elizabethans believed that their lives were planned by the heavens before they were born and the premonitions could only have been fate, trying to tell both Romeo and Juliet that they are not supposed to be together hence 'star cross'd lovers'. Alternatively, the audience might think it was Romeo's fault because he made foolish decisions. Firstly, knowing the families hatred for each other he still choose to go to the party. Secondly, Romeo did not even see Juliet's face before he declared his love for her. Later, he only thought of his anger and not his love for Juliet when in revenge of Mercutio's death he killed Tybalt. Again, he made a bad decision by foolishly not keeping to his banishment but returned to Verona. Also, he did not think of anyone but himself when he made the decision to just go and buy poison without talking to anybody first. I personally think the tragedy was caused by Romeo's self-centred decisions and bad choices. In spite of this Romeo and Juliet's momentous love affair was too strong and their love was too pure that if it had lasted more than a week they would have started to fade away from each other. ?? ?? ?? ?? By. Vanessa Miranda ...read more.

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