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To what extent are fate and free will to blame for the tradgedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

After Killing Tybalt, Romeo complains that he is 'Fortunes Fool'. Consider how far Romeo and Juliet's relationship is governed by a power higher than themselves. Do You Always expect the play to end in tragedy? I have chosen 3 scenes from the play to answer this question. All of which have different answers to the question. I have chosen: One scene for A higher power controlling them, One scene for being in control under their own free will and One scene to sum up my feelings and to answer the final question. Anyone who reads this play picks up on the repetitive references to fate, the presence of fate and the importance of fate in 'Romeo and Juliet'. The first reference to fate in this play is in the prologue at the start. 'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whole misadventured piteous overthrows Do with heir death bury their parents' strife.' The prologue says that the pair was doomed from the very beginning. Saying that the lovers were 'star-cross'd' is almost like saying that they had no way of controlling their lives as it was in the hands of the stars. The prologue tells the audience of the outcome of the play from the start but leaves them wondering 'how' and 'why' Romeo and Juliet die. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt cost Mercutio his life, because if Tybalt had not have been so annoyed with Mercutio he may not have killed him. No matter what Romeo did, the fight would still have happened, making it out of his control. When Romeo saw that Mercutio had been killed, he snapped, he began to fight with Tybalt and viciously killed him. Romeo had just had to witness the death of his best friend, all because he didn't fight back against Tybalt and forced Mercutio to join in, , which lead to Mercutio's death. This was in the hands of Romeo, with no higher power involved. The fight happening was out of his control but he could have changed the outcome by fighting back against Tybalt therefore Mercutio would not have joined in, and not have been killed. Before Mercutio's death he says 'A plague a' both your houses!' placing a curse on both the house of Capulet and the house of Montague, of neither he was a member, but was killed in the feud between them. Up until this scene most things were going right for Romeo and Juliet, with their love blossoming, but as soon as the plague was placed things began to go wrong for their love as, unaware to Juliet, Romeo is banished from the city of Verona. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet is so upset by the death of Romeo, and shocked that he is there that she tests his lips to see if they are still wet with poison, with them being wet she kisses him to get a dose of the potion which kills her. If Juliet had not been so fussy in taking the potion in act 4 scene 3 then she would have woken up before Romeo took the potion and neither of their lives would have been wasted. Do you always expect the play to end in tragedy? In the beginning of the play Romeo and Juliet seen to be in control of their own love, choosing to meet up whenever they like and to become married. These actions are made completely of their own free will. But after the death of Mercutio and the curse placed upon the houses seem to be the beginning of things going wrong, starting immediately with the death of Tybalt. Fate seems to be mostly in control over the lives of Romeo and Juliet from the beginning of act 3, with nothing going right for them from then onwards. Shakespeare meant for his audience to realise that Romeo and Juliet had no control over their lives, leading to a sympathetic view of the couple from the audience. The actions of the lovers, although at the beginning were of there own free will, seemed to be, in the end controlled by Fate. ...read more.

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