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Role of Fate in Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet Essay By Kewal Pradhan E. Sgouromitis English Period A March 24, 2003 Role of Fate in Romeo and Juliet In the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, fate plays a major role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Throughout the play, fate controls all the events surrounding the young lovers: the ancient dispute between their families, their meeting and falling in love, their separation, the tragic series of misfortunes which ruin Friar Lawrence's plans, and the tragic timing of Romeo's suicide and Juliet's awakening. Even the Prologue at the beginning of the play suggests that it will mainly be fate that will be to blame for their misfortunes by saying, "A pair of star-cross'd lovers" and "death-mark'd love" (Prologue 1. 6, 9). The play opens with a fight between the servants of the Montague and the Capulet families. This fight illustrates that the "ancient grudge" between the two families is so deep that it extends to the servants (Prologue l. ...read more.


The morning after the ball, Romeo visits Friar Lawrence to tell him about his love towards Juliet and to ask for his advice. The friar is at first doubtful of Romeo's love with Juliet, but then he realizes that the love between Romeo and Juliet could end the quarrel between the two families (II, iii, 84-88). He agrees to secretly marry them that afternoon. The well-intentioned friar does not realize that by agreeing to help the young lovers, he has sealed their fate. However, at the Capulet ball, Tybalt recognized the voice of Romeo, a Montague, and became furious. Although Lord Capulet stopped him from fighting with Romeo, Tybalt swore that he would have revenge for the insult. He said, "I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall" (I, v, 90-91). When Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel, Romeo refuses because Tybalt is now his kinsman. Mercutio then battles with Tybalt because Romeo refused to do it. Romeo tries to interfere in their battle, and his interference gives Tybalt a chance to stab Mercutio. ...read more.


Tragedy continues to unfold when Romeo decides to commit suicide. Romeo purchases a bottle of poison and arrives at the Capulet tomb. There, he kills Paris, and says that both of their fates were "writ with me in sour misfortune's book" (V, iii, 82). In Juliet's tomb, Romeo says that "O here will I set up my everlasting rest, and shake the yoke of inauspicious stars" (V, iii, 109-111). Romeo then swallows the poison and dies next to Juliet. Moments later, Juliet wakes up to discover that her husband is dead. She then stabs herself in the chest. If Romeo had not acted so quickly, he would have lived to watch his wife awaken. However, fate had determined that the lovers would not get to live with happiness during their lifetime. In conclusion, throughout the play of Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers are controlled by a set of tragic events. Fate brought Romeo and Juliet together, and set all other events in motion. But in the end, it was their fate to die without getting to see each other. Fate, from the beginning, had determined that the story of Romeo and Juliet would end in heartbreak. ...read more.

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