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To what extent were Romeo & Juliet responsible for their deaths and to what extent were other characters and influences outside of their control to blame?

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Introduction

Monkwearmouth School Sunderland Centre Number: 39543 Assignment No: GCSE English / Literature Assignment To what extent were Romeo & Juliet responsible for their deaths and to what extent were other characters and influences outside of their control to blame? 'Romeo & Juliet' is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. This play is about two young lovers who accidentally fall in love. They tragically at the end die but who is to blame? There are many characters that could take the blame but no one character could take the full extent of the blame. The prologue on the other hand, provides a different opinion. It talks about Romeo and Juliet as "star crossed lovers" as though nothing that they did could have stopped them being together. So the prologue really suggests that fate and destiny being ultimately responsible so maybe no -one is really to blame If we had to really blame or put most of the blame on to one or more characters, the blame could be put on to Lord and Lady Capulet. The reason for choosing these two characters to take some of the blame is because Lord Capulet betroths Juliet to Paris and promises him her hand in marriage even before consulting her. ...read more.

Middle

The reason Juliet does decide to kill herself is because she feels she cannot live with out Romeo and she did not want to marry Paris. "How shall this be prevented? My husband is on earth" In this quotation Juliet is trying to think of a way she can get out of the marriage to Paris. Another reason Juliet could be to blame for her own death is when she wakes up from having taken the potion in the tomb she finds Romeo dead. Friar Lawrence tries to get her to go with him. "Lady, Come from that rest of death" Juliet denies him. She tells him that she is not leaving " Go get thee hence for I will not away" Juliet then decides to kill her self for she feels she cannot live with out Romeo and she wants to be with him even though she was given a chance to live "O, happy dagger! This is thy sheath there rest and let me die" She kills herself on Romeo's dagger so she has to be partly to blame for her own death. Romeo can be to blame for his own death as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many references to fate throughout this play. In Act One Scene Four Romeo has a premonition of a disaster. Her knows and feels that something bad is going to happen. "I fear, too early; for my mind misgives Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, Shall bitterly begun his fearful date- By some vile forfeit of untimely death." In Act Two Scene Six Romeo is awaiting Juliet's Arrival, he is impatient and then says: "This love-devouring death does what he dare" This is saying that his love for Juliet is so strong that he would be willing to die for her. This is also another instance of fate being blamed in this play. In Act Three Scene Five Juliet gets a feeling of something bad happening, like Romeo dying "I have and ill-dividing soul, Methinks I see thee now thou art so low as or dead in the bottom of a tomb" This quotation is ironic because Romeo is found dead at the bottom of Juliet's tomb in Act Five. In Act Five Scene Three Friar Lawrence makes a reference to fate as being the cause of Romeo's death. "A greater power than we can contradict Hath thwarted out intents." This is the scene where Juliet has woken up and the Friar is trying to get her to leave with him. ...read more.

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