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Is the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet a result of “cruel fate” or “impulsive action”?

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Is the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet a result of "cruel fate" or "impulsive action"? In the Elizabethan times people believed in the idea of fate where you cannot control what happens in your life as the stars control it. This is why many of Shakespeare's plays revolved around fate as it was part of everyday life. I think that people used to believe in fate as God had a big part in life then and he controlled people's lives. I think nowadays people do not take Shakespeare's plays as seriously as they did because we believe in impulsive action where you do things without thinking more than we do fate and less people believe in God now. There are many references to fate throughout the play and the Prologue is one big reference to fate as it tells us a large part of story and the outcome so as the play progresses we can judge for ourselves who is or is not to blame. ...read more.


In Act III Scene I Romeo reacts impulsively when Mercutio dies, by killing Tybalt even though he risks exile and even death. This shows that when someone that he loves and feels close for dies he reacts greatly and does silly things. He shows these acts of impulsiveness throughout the play. In Act V Scene I Romeo learns of Juliet's 'death' and he goes straight to the apothecary and asks for the most powerful poison to kill himself with. This shows that he loves Juliet so much that he cannot think of anything except to get to her even though he will be killed as soon as the Prince learns of his arrival in Verona. In Act V Scene III Romeo again acts impulsively when he journeys to the Capulet tomb where Juliet is laid to rest, only to find Paris there, whom Romeo mistakes for a grave robber, as well. ...read more.


This comes true as the lovers both die as a result of loving each other. Both fate and impulsive action are important to the outcome of the play as without the presence of fate there would have not been any play and without impulsive action some of the biggest events like Romeo's exile and Romeo's death would not have happened. I find the impulsiveness of the play more convincing than the fate side as God and fate do not play as bigger part in life as they did and we see more impulsive action in our own lives than we see fate. I think that Shakespeare wanted to show his audience that love will drive people to do desperate acts more often than if they were not in love and that fate plays a huge part in love. I think that the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was due to mainly Romeo's impulsiveness, though it was not all his fault. Tom Charleson 10JB English coursework ...read more.

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