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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

'Romeo & Juliet' "Who is to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?" Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare tells the story of two young lovers whose families are enemies. Because of the family feud their love story ends in tragedy. It is very difficult to single out one character or cause of Romeo and Juliet's deaths. There are various events and misunderstandings which lead up to their deaths. However I am going to focus on two key characters: the nurse and Friar Lawrence. I have chosen these two characters because their actions play a major part in the tragic end. The nurse is Juliet's maid and helper. She has known her since childhood. Juliet trusts her with her secrets. After Juliet has met Romeo at the party, she gives the nurse the job of taking a message to him. The nurse does this despite the fact that she is employed by the Capulet's and she knows that the Montague family is their sworn enemies. I think her actions are very immature. In Shakespeare's time the children of the rich were given wet nurses who raised the child as their own. Therefore the nurse and Juliet are as close as mother and daughter. I feel she should have warned Juliet about the consequences because it was obvious something dreadful was bound to happen because of the old family feud. ...read more.

Middle

Nurse: "I think it best you married with the county, O, he's a lovely gentleman!" Act 2 Scene 5 Lines 217-219 The nurse saw the level of aggression in Juliet's father and became more concerned about her own safety. She knew he would be furious if he found out she had been helping Juliet go against his commands. In the 16th century England the daughters of the rich were seen as property. They were given away by their families and had no rights. It was the same for the time when the play is set therefore Juliet knows she will not have the law on her side or anyone to support her. As a direct result of the nurses actions Juliet realizes she is alone and she has to make her own decisions. As a consequence she goes to the Friar and agrees to take the potion. Juliet: "I'll to the Friar to know his remedy. If all else fail, myself have power to die." Act 3 Scene5 Lines 241-242 There is no real reason to why the nurse helps Juliet so much then turns against her feelings and opposes to what Juliet wants. It seems like she was only helping Juliet because she thought of the relationship as a joke. ...read more.

Conclusion

He acted with good intentions and he was under pressure. He still should have considered the consequences of the plan. In the tomb when Juliet is alone with Romeo's dead body Friar Lawrence runs away because the guards are coming. Friar Lawrence: "Stay not to question for the watch is coming. Come, go, good Juliet; I dare no longer stay." Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 158-160 At that moment Friar Lawrence was only considering his own safety. It's a direct result for Juliet's actions. He leaves her alone with no option because her family is on their way to the tomb and there is no way out for her. I therefore blame Friar Lawrence for Juliet's death. Had he stayed with her he could have prevented her death. I feel Friar Lawrence and the Nurse are both equally to blame for Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Both Friar Lawrence and the Nurse were there to support Romeo and Juliet, but they failed. No one person is to blame for their deaths. Tybalt or Lord Capulet could also be blamed for their roles. I feel that Romeo and Juliet are also to blame for their own deaths. They had only known each other a short while and yet rushed into marriage. They knew about the feud between their families, but didn't think about the consequences. Even though they were only teenagers they still acted irresponsibly. Shaheen Yusuf English Coursework Ms Parker ...read more.

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