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In the Prologue, Romeo and Juliet are Described as "a pair of star-crossed lovers". To what extent are they victims of events outside their control, and to what extent do they cause their own downfall?

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In the Prologue, Romeo and Juliet are Described as "a pair of star-crossed lovers". To what extent are they victims of events outside their control, and to what extent do they cause their own downfall? In 1597 William Shakespeare wrote the tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet". Shakespeare uses imagery to show the positive and negative sides to life. He has a contrast between them and even if something may look beautiful, there may still be evil within it. The play explores the meeting of two children both from feuding families who fall in love, get separated, meet with each other again and eventually commit suicide. In my essay, I will describe how Romeo and Juliet were destined to have an unhappy ending from the start and whether it was all to do with fate and whether or not it could have been avoided. Was it fate and predestination that made them meet together and was it a coincidence that they just happened to be from rival families? The play is a tragedy and so it will have a fatal outcome involving death and shows fate is malevolent. In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described as 'A pair of star-crossed lovers', which shows that they are 'meant to be', from the start and fate will make them meet. ...read more.


'Then I defy you stars!' is said by Romeo in act 5 scene 1. This links back to the prologue with, 'star-crossed lovers'. Here Romeo is angry at fate and with God. He tries to go against fate, which results in him, stealing his own fate by him dying. He is very impatient to get the poison and Balthasar describes him as 'pale', which implies he is already half-dead. As the prologue stated, both of them will 'take their life' and this is exactly what is happening. All these quotes show that Shakespeare is giving the message that fate is malevolent and results in death. Both families, the Capulet's and the Montague's play a big part in Romeo and Juliet's death because they die over the feuding of the two families. It was all going on even before they were born and it is such a coincidence that Romeo and Juliet happened to be from both families. Nurse, Benvolio, Mercutio, Tybalt and the Friar Lawrence also help decide Romeo and Juliet's fate. It starts when Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo is from the family that she is meant to hate. This somehow makes their love more strong and forces Romeo to come and visit Juliet in secret in their garden. ...read more.


Shakespeare has deliberately put it in the middle to emphasize its importance. The outcome of the scene is two deaths and one banishment. There is a contrast in characters because Tybalt is known for his fiery attitude and Mercutio for his friendship, in this scene there is role reversal and Mercutio becomes the 'bad' guy while Tybalt persists on not fighting. Tybalt insists he does not want to fight Mercutio and that he has only come to fight Romeo. Shakespeare has done this to surprise the audience just as they were settling in and e changes their assumptions of the characters. Act 3.1 also contrasts with the previous scene of act 2.6, which was a very intimate and slow scene in the Friar's cell. It has gone from three characters, to a fast-paced crowded street, which shows juxtaposition. Here, Romeo, (like Juliet), is misunderstood by others as Tybalt thinks Romeo is mocking him when Romeo says that he should love him. The foreshadowing at the beginning of the scene from Benvolio has done nothing to change the outcome, which shows fate cannot be tampered with. Romeo is very swift to realize that he is 'fortune's fool' and so he runs away. This is a 'wake up call' from Shakespeare to show that anything is possible and that fate is predetermined and that it all results in death. ...read more.

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