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To what extent do chance and fate play a role in the deaths of

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Introduction

To what extent do chance and fate play a role in the deaths of "Romeo and Juliet"? How does Shakespeare present an ominous tone in his play? In the love story "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare, the young couple's undeniable love pushes them to the extremes of marriage and death in the face of their ancient family feud. These are "Star-crossed lovers" and this theme of chance and fate is ever present in the play. Shakespeare directs the audience to this theme by introducing it so early in his prologue. The audience, knowing what will happen, can focus on the elements of fate and the ominous warnings throughout the tragic story. From the beginning the lovers are doomed and the play begins in ominous violence as the two families, the Capulets and the Montagues, brawl in the streets. "If ever you disturb our streets again your lives shall pay to forfeit the peace." This exclamation by the prince is fateful because, if he hadn't said this Romeo would not have been banished for killing Tybalt later on in the story. Another aspect of fate is his love of Rosaline, which is not returned; he would not have met Juliet, if Rosaline had loved him as well. Another element of chance and fate occurs where a servant cannot read the Capulet ball guest list and ends up approaching Romeo for help, and as Romeo wants to see Rosaline he jumps at the chance. ...read more.

Middle

Here there are two opportunities where fate could have been avoided. This leads to Romeo's banishment and Tybalt's death. Romeo says, "I am fortunes fool" as he realises he is like a puppet of destiny. Now the speech in the prologue takes significance. As the play takes a turn for the worst Romeo and Juliet show how strong their love is by saying that they would die rather than not be together and Juliet is prepared to die for Romeo rather than live without him. She says, "Come, cords come, Nurse. Ill to my wedding-bed and death, not Romeo, take my maiden head". After his exile Romeo is hiding at Friar Lawrence's quarter when he says he is going to commit suicide because he has been banished and he cannot see Juliet, but with haste the friar stops him. These two events both show the love they both possess for each other. The friar says "Will thou slay thyself? And slay they lady in thy life lives? If Romeo had killed himself he would kill Juliet as well because she would kill herself. This is a case of dramatic irony because we all know that they both die in this way. Then as usual in this play fate intervenes as lord Capulet arranges Juliet's marriage to Paris but she cannot get married again because of Romeo but not many people know this. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the chances of a happy ending disappear Friar Laurence thinks to recover and protect Juliet as she awakens, until Romeo comes and they will leave together so he sends another letter containing the logical plan. However as Romeo is already at the tomb, he meets Paris who is waiting for him and he offers him a duel and Romeo fights him and kills him. He continues to Juliet and as he sees her dead. He sees life in her face, but he still drinks the potion, if he didn't she could have woke up and they could have lived happily in Mantua. Juliet awakens fatefully too late and as she sees Romeo dead she thinks to take her life. Friar Laurence tries to stop her but she cannot live without Romeo so she tries to extract the poison off his lips but there is not enough there. Friar Laurence by another aspect of fate hears a noise and he runs away, so Juliet grabs a dagger and buries it into her self. "Romeo and Juliet" is a tragic love story. Aspects of doom, death and portents make those clear; other aspects of hope and a happy ending make us think that there could be a happy ending but we already know the end is "Death-marked". Shakespeare offers us an exploration of fate and destiny in his most famous love story. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Matthew Wright ...read more.

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