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In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described 'a pair of star cross'd lovers'. To what extent are they victims outside of their control, and to what extent do they cause their own downfall?

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Introduction

In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described 'a pair of star cross'd lovers'. To what extent are they victims outside of their control, and to what extent do they cause their own downfall? One of the many messages in the play, 'Romeo and Juliet', was if you follow a love that is not sensible, going against your family, it will lead to your downfall. In this essay I will show ways in which this is true, but also that there were some things leading to their downfall, which they couldn't control. William Shakespeare started writing this play in 1592, at the end of the Elizabethan period. Around this time he also fell in love with Anne Watley, aged 18 (same as him), although in the same year he married Anne Hathoway, aged 23. All this love in his life would have influenced the way in which he wrote his plays, especially 'Romeo and Juliet', and is most likely where he was inspired for his big twists and complications in the plays. There are many different themes in the play, although they all link together. Love is linked to death because it is because Romeo and Juliet love each other that they both end up killing themselves in the end. Although which of these things are good? The general idea would be that love is a good thing, but in the play it is love that leads to death, and death that leads to peace. But it is because of the hatred between the families that love ends up leading to death. ...read more.

Middle

just a few seconds after, or she had woken up a few seconds before it would have turned out ok and they would not have both died. Although aside from all these things out of their control, there were still factors which lead to their downfall that were in their control and they could have changed. A short while after they met they both found out they were enemies and yet they still got together and didn't fight their temptations. Although the fighting of their families was not the right thing, and they shouldn't have just ignored their feelings because of it, arranging to get married the next day, without consolation of any of their relatives, was probably not the best idea and a big thing that lead to their downfall. And yet they knew of the problems as said by Juliet after the party: 'My only love sprung from my only hate'. Also, just one hour after the wedding, Romeo avenged Mercutio's death by killing Tybalt, which was the first big step towards a major downfall, as it got him banished from town. So now, he can not only not see Juliet, without breaking the law, but has also given her another reason to think marrying him was a mistake, even though she loves him, and another reason for the Capulets to hate him and not make peace with the Montagues. Although it was not just Romeo and Juliet who led themselves into problems. If it wasn't for the existence, or actions of other characters, things would have been a lot simpler. ...read more.

Conclusion

So he bought the poison and killed himself, along with Paris, before he could be told the truth. Having explored, analysed and evaluated the play, I can conclude that the factors within and outside of Romeo and Juliet's control were not the reasons for the consequences of the play, but were just things along the way that affected the course of their lives. The way in which it turned out was down to fate, which is the main theme of the play. I think this because all of the small problems, which came together to make the bigger problems, were caused by fate, and it is mentioned indirectly so many times throughout the play. Lines such as 'star cross'd lovers' and 'O I am fortunes fool' are examples of this. I think that William Shakespeare did this deliberately to make the play something to think about, as there are so many possibilities and alternative conclusions, which could have happened if a certain thing hadn't taken place etc. and the fact that some serious things happened just because of small actions, which could have been avoided. This leaves the audience thinking about the different possibilities that could have happened. Although the only really straight answer that you can give to say why it all turned out like it did is because of fate, and that it was all meant to happen. Which also concludes it by the fact that although there was suffering and death, it all came together for the better and ended with the families uniting and ending the war between them. Seb Truman 10PB ...read more.

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