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In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described as "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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Introduction

In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described as "Star-crossed lovers". To what extent are they victims of events outside their control, and to what extent do they cause their own downfall? Mubasher Rafique 11B 'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whole misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents' strife.' This is the first reference to fate in the play. This means that even from the very beginning, the young couple were doomed. 'Star-crossed' refers to the astrological view on destiny that was much more widely accepted when Shakespeare wrote his tragedy. By including this line so early in the book, Shakespeare interests the audience. From the start they know what will happen, but 'how?' and 'why?' are only answered as the play progresses. Another example of someone referring to fate is when Mercutio tries to make Romeo go to the Capulet's party. Romeo eventually agrees, but he still feels uneasy: 'I fear, too early: for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date' This shows that Romeo felt uncomfortable with the idea of going to the Capulet party in the first place. ...read more.

Middle

The Friar helped the couple in their plans to marry and assisting Juliet in her scheme to be with Romeo. If the Friar had not agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet, it is possible that the couple would have given up on the idea of being together. On the other hand, Romeo and Juliet may have been fated to marry and would have married no matter what the Friar's decision was. If the Friar had not suggested his plan to Juliet, she may never have seen Romeo again (he was banished) and the couple would have stayed alive. On the other hand if Juliet had not had the chance to see Romeo again she might have committed suicide anyway. The couple may have been doomed regardless of the Friar's decision. Tybalt, Juliet's cousin agreed to fight Romeo in town. If Tybalt had not intentionally started to make fun of Mercutio, the two would not have got into their duel and Romeo may have been safe from banishment. These four people define and decide what Romeo and Juliet do by influencing the events that lead up to their death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mercutio said it gave Tybalt the opportunity to kill him, "I was hurt under your arm". Romeo then fought and killed Tybalt later on. Later when he hears from Balthasar the news that Juliet is dead he says, "Then I defy you stars", meaning he is not going to let Fate control what happens to him. Juliet is partially to blame because she shouldn't have disobeyed her parents and, like Romeo, she was too hasty in rushing into marriage. She was already engaged to Paris, and until then, had been very happy with her parent's choice. If Juliet had not been so fussy of who she wants, on the night of the masquerade, they both may still have kept their lives I do not think there is one person who is entirely to blame but Friar Laurence plays a large part in the tragedy. This is because he makes complicated plans, which require accurate timing, and in the end simply did not happen. Romeo did not receive the letter he sent, so when he heard the news from Balthasar, he thought Juliet was really dead. Friar Laurence shouldn't have helped Romeo and Juliet without carefully considering the consequences. ...read more.

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