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Romeo and Juliet - Who's to Blame?

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Introduction

AJ Perry "Romeo and Juliet are victims of unrelenting fate against which they cannot rebel effectively. All they can do is submit with courage and dignity." Who is to blame for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? The quotation takes the point of view that fate is to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet. It states that the outcome could not have been changed and whatever Romeo and Juliet had done, the end result would have been the same. The prologue of the play also takes this view "The fearful passage of their death-marked love" Prologue. The phrase "death-marked love" informs us that their love is marked with death from the very beginning and nothing they do will change this fact, because it is their fate. In Elizabethan times most people would have believed that fate is the main cause of the tragedy. But some people might suggest that it is more accurate to say that it was their destiny, which is caused by human responsibility, rather than their fate, which is fixed and cannot be changed, that is to blame. Fate means that the end was already decided for them, right from the beginning of time but destiny means that they decide their own life as they go along, through the choices they make and the through what the people around them do. ...read more.

Middle

If Juliet had not followed Friar Lawrence's plan Romeo would never have died and she would still be alive but also unhappily married to Paris. Juliet was desperate to escape marriage, l so she went ahead with whatever plan could get her out of it. If Lord and Lady Capulet had not tried to force Juliet to marry whom they wanted her to marry and had not turned against her when she refused then they may have considered letting her marry Romeo. "The County Paris, at Saint Peter's Church, Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride." "Now, by Saint Peter's Church and Peter too, He shall not make me there a joyful bride." 3.5.114-117 Lord Capulet said at the party that he thought quite highly of Romeo. "Verona brags of him To be a virtuous and well-governed youth." 1.5.66-67 He seemed to quite like Romeo so if Juliet had told her father about him he may have allowed her to stay married to him. Of course if Capulet and Montague had not fought in the first place and had they been able to put there differences behind them then there would be no problem and Juliet could have mingled with whomever she pleased! Lord and Lady Montague did not seem to play much part in the play at all. They are rarely mentioned apart from in the very first scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole thing is caused by the fact that Lord Capulet and Lord Montague cannot set aside their differences and have imposed their view, that the other is wrong, on their relatives. Both sides of the feud have at least one person who can see that the whole fight is pointless and needs to be sorted out. The fact that Romeo and Juliet go that little bit further to be together and solve their families problems shows that the feud is causing nothing but grief and that people have even died trying to harm a member of the other family. I don't think that the blame can be placed on just one person because if any one thing had changed the outcome would have changed and we can't pick just one thing that caused the result. From this we could say one of two things; either fate is to blame or destiny is to blame. Fate traditionally is based on star alignments and nothing can change what the end will be. Destiny is based on what people do and the choices they make, and different choices produce different endings. And as we know, if one thing was changed about the play the outcome would be completely different, we can conclude that the quotation is false and destiny is to blame for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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