• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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?

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. 'To what extent does act one of 'Romeo and Juliet' influence the events in ...

    We find out the entire events of the play through it. The prologue is a typical Shakespearean sonnet as it is only fourteen lines. It consists of three quatrains and it ends in a concluding couplet. The prologue tells us the main points of the play and it shows us the different moods put across in the play e.g.

  2. Romeo and Juliet 'the star-crossed lovers' are doomed from the start, not by fate ...

    Friar Lawrence is panicked by this and is worried of the consequences 'of dear import; and the neglecting it may do much danger.' The Friar then refers to fate for this was an 'unhappy fortune!' the whole tragedy then hinges on the failure to deliver a letter, this is a

  1. To what extent are Romeo and Juliet victims of fate?

    Before Romeo and Juliet meet, at the end of Act 1 Scene 4, the use of fate is applied again. Romeo foresees the future and has a forewarning of death. His tone is ominous, filled with foreboding. He uses eligible language predicting with complete certainty that his early death will

  2. Shakespeare cleverly masks the true meaning of Romeo and Juliet behind the idea of ...

    Tybalts role in this scene is of great importance, it is his character and aggression that reaches the climax point of the play. Tybalt's behaviour drives Romeo to seek revenge, this ends Tybalts life as well as the life Romeo and Juliet may have had.

  1. Romeo and Juliette: Who is to blame for the star-crossed lovers tragic death?

    But Friar Lawrence although naively thinking that by marrying the two young lovers the family feud will disappear agrees to help Romeo. He does this even though he is having doubts of Rome's love for Juliet given how he had stopped liking Rosaline so quickly "Young men's love then lies".

  2. Romeo and Juliet - 'Star-crossed lovers' or tragic protagonists?

    get married, yet fails to offer them good advice about their situation. As an adult man, priest, and even friend, you would expect him to give guidance to the young lovers, yet he fails to do this. He seems scared of fate, as it is a 'greater power than we can contradict.'

  1. A Pair of star-cross'd lovers". Can fate alone be blamed for the deaths of ...

    This violent love and extreme passion could be what drove them to their deaths. They wanted to do everything right away and so they went along with anything that meant they could spend time together. This demonstrates immaturity, impulsiveness and naivety.

  2. Romeo and Juliet - Who is to blame for the death of the star ...

    to Juliet asserting 'Well sir my mistress is the sweetest lady' The Nurse appears to have got too carried away with the situation with Romeo and is eager for Juliet to marry, but she offers no advice or caution to Juliet, although she clearly knows that Juliet is young and inexperienced.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work