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

Romeo and Juliet are described as "a pair of star-cross'd lovers". How far would you hold them responsible for their own tragic deaths? Who else, if anyone, might be held responsible?

Extracts from this document...


Romeo and Juliet are described as "a pair of star-cross'd lovers". How far would you hold them responsible for their own tragic deaths? Who else, if anyone, might be held responsible? Romeo and Juliet's deaths are often blamed on fate and fate alone. However, it is true that had there been no feud; there would have been no problem. It is also true that had Tybalt not died, then neither would have Romeo or Juliet. Furthermore, had Juliet not been forced into marriage, she would not have pretended to die. Let us consider then that every character is to blame. At first sight, it would seem that Romeo is guilty of nothing more than being a good lover. However, besides the fact that the aforementioned 'crime' is very serious, he also did several other things that ultimately caused his death. Firstly, he was called such a good lover because he was quick to fall in love with Juliet, and forgot all about Rosaline. Although this is commendable, his actions were very hasty. It could be said that he was not acting on love, but on lust caused by Juliet's beauty. He seemed to be hopelessly in love with Rosaline before, however when he first laid eyes on Juliet, he immediately forgot about Rosaline, showing that it was not true love. ...read more.


In this moment, he gives her the potion which makes her look dead, which she gladly accepts, and then in the next scene, she lies to her parents about being in consent about marrying Paris. Similarly to Romeo, her haste has her killed in the final scenes of the play, where upon seeing Romeo's dead body next to her she stabs herself in the heart. Mercutio could also be seen to be partially at fault. Although his sharp tongue does not deter Romeo from his love, his equally sharp ego causes him to fight Tybalt when Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel and is denied. Before this event, in which Mercutio dies, the play could be called a comedy. However, at the moment of the death, and in the following duel to the death between Romeo and Tybalt, the play is irrecoverably turned into a tragedy. Although he cannot be blamed for dying in the duel, Mercutio can be blamed for fighting Tybalt in the first place. Equally Tybalt could be seen as being at fault, for similar reasons to Mercutio. He is to blame for insulting Romeo and Mercutio, which leads to the fight, and he also kills Mercutio, and is killed himself, which is what leads to Romeo being exiled. ...read more.


It also seems too much a coincidence that the characters themselves predict their deaths to an extent. Romeo does this early in the play, before he even meets Juliet, but when he is about to: "I fear too early; for my mind misgives; Some consequence yet hanging in the stars" It seems that destiny has a significant role in the play. If Romeo had not been wearing a mask, Juliet may have known him to be a Montague, and would not have fallen in love. Had there not been an outbreak of the plague, Romeo would have known about Juliet faking her death. However these things did happen. It is not clear whether destiny has a direct act in the play. It is not clear whether the death of the lovers was tragic inevitability, or just bad luck. Everyone in the play is responsible for their own decisions - be it Friar Laurence or Romeo and Juliet themselves. However, no one can be directly blamed for the deaths. It was simply a collection of bad decisions, whether by bad luck and coincidence or fate and destiny. One thing is clear - no one thing can stand alone for the reason for their deaths, but many things could alone have stopped it. Destiny's only interference was to make sure that they didn't. Leszek Swirski ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Who Was Responsible For the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    3 star(s)

    Nurse knew from the very beginning when Romeo and Juliet first met that they were in love, so apart from the lovers themselves, she knew for the longest. She was the one who went to find Romeo to find out what he intended to do; she told Juliet that Romeo

  2. Who is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    "Then move not while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purg'd . Then have my lips the sin that they have took..." (Act 1 Scene 5). Romeo no longer is melancholic, but is courageous, risking his life at the Capulet's house to be near Juliet.

  1. To What Extent is Friar Lawrence Responsible For the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    Juliet's final words to the Nurse had great meaning because she was able to let her anger out on the Nurse "Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!" (Act 3 Scene 5) even made a threat to kill herself if the Friars plan doesn't work "I'll to the friar, to know

  2. Who is the most to blame for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    However, when Romeo is motivated, or shocked, he can be very impulsive and intense, as he seems to have a lack of patience throughout the play. Romeo seems to be quite intelligent in the play, as he speaks with very sophisticated language, which combined with his good looks makes him extremely popular with people of the opposite sex.

  1. Who or What Caused the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    A war of words is exchanged during the confrontation between Tybalt and Romeo's best friend, Mercutio. When Romeo does arrive on the scene, Tybalt ignores Mercutio and goes towards Romeo. As he tries to enrage and infuriate Romeo, both he and Mercutio are surprised when Romeo tries to be friendly with Tybalt.

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

    Overall I feel fate has very little to do with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet as in a modern society fate is hardly ever used as an excuse for events. Also, in the prologue of the book, it says that Romeo and Juliet are doomed to die.

  1. Are Romeo And Juliet Responsible For Their Own Demise

    also be present, therefore she would be inclined to think that she was engaging with a man that would have been approved by her family. It can be argued at the same time, as Juliet was only to look at Paris according to her mother.

  2. In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described as a pair of "star cross'd ...

    Romeo has this presentment and sense of doom before going to the Capulet's party: 'for my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars.' The imagery of the sea also gives this interpretation as Romeo believes that something 'hath the steerage of my course' implying that he is no

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