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

Were Romeo and Juliet victims of predestination and fate, or were their tragic ends brought about through conscious choices?

Extracts from this document...


Were they really "Star-cross'd lovers?" Were Romeo and Juliet victims of predestination and fate, or were their tragic ends brought about through conscious choices? Include a discussion of language, literary conventions and dramatic devices to support your position "For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo", (Act 1, Scene 1). This quote clearly shows the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet's demise. In this essay, I will explore the reasons why Romeo and Juliet were "star-cross'd" victims of fate, instead of blaming their conscious choices for their heartbreaking deaths. Although there were some wrong choices made, the majority of their fate was preordained. Shakespeare makes it very apparent to the audience that Romeo and Juliet are controlled by Fate. Before the play begins, Shakespeare summarizes the plot of the play in the prologue. "A pair of star-crossed take their life." (Shakespeare, Act 1 Prologue L.6) ...read more.


At the masque, Romeo encounters Tybalt, a conflict that eventually concludes in death for Tybalt and Mercutio, as well as banishment for Romeo. "This, by his voice, should be a Montague." (Act 1 Sc.5 L.56) Tybalt discovers Romeo's presence by over hearing a barely audible musing. It is predestination that provokes Romeo to encounter Juliet, and fate that irrevocably separates them. Juliet is subject to fate very similarly to Romeo. Juliet's association with Romeo happens as a consequence of fate as well. Had Juliet initially identified Romeo as a Montague, she would not have associated with him, but she was unaware of this since she later asks her Nurse, "What is yond Gentleman?" (Act 2 Sc. 5 L.130). This proves that Juliet is infatuated with Romeo and falls immediately in love with him, only later finding out he is a Montague. Juliet had already fallen in love with Romeo when she states, "My only love sprung from my only hate." ...read more.


Nevertheless, predestination strikes back, and the complete plan becomes a chaos. Firstly, the letter never gets to Romeo. The cause for this is that Friar Lawrence's messenger was subjected to quarantine. This was not the fault of Friar Lawrence, the messenger, or Romeo; it was Fate. Because of this, Romeo and Juliet's likelihood of happiness became very minute. Romeo goes to Juliet's tomb and kills himself. Incredibly, had he waited just a few moments, he would have witnessed Juliet's awakening; they would have escaped and lived happily ever after. But, due to a bizarre incidence of fate, Juliet awakens sees Romeo. This surprising ending alone is enough to propose that the entire plot has a hinged on Fate. Fate's affect on the overall conclusion is disastrous. These two incidents alone alter the outcome entirely; let alone the numerous occurrences in the play. A pertinent question is: "Is Shakespeare showing us spiritual fate, or is it purely a sequence of outlandishly unintentional events?" In order to respond to this question, one must develop of an understanding the use of Fate earlier in plays. ...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

    'How is Love Presented in Romeo and Juliet in Acts - 1 Sc 5; ...

    4 star(s)

    on-the-other-hand Romeo is now the practical person and all of his speeches are straight to the point - in my opinion, this is because of Mercutio's death in Act 3 Sc 1, Romeo is now more vigilant and enraged and we can see this because he does not have time

  2. The concept of fate - Romeo and Juliet

    Juliet seeing that Romeo is dead, slays herself also. Fate (also called chance, accident, or destiny) plays a vitally significant part in the play. From the beginning of the drama, Shakespeare calls Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers, for fate brings them together and fate is responsible for their tragic end.

  1. To what extent are Romeo and Juliet victims of fate?

    Romeo commits suicide by poisoning himself even though he inside believe she is still alive fate replaces those thoughts with pain and suffering which causes him to kill himself. This is quite ironic seeing as the audience watching the play know that Juliet isn't dead and is about to wake

  2. What role does fate play in 'Romeo and Juliet'? What role do the characters' ...

    William Shakespeare is recognised by much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. The intricate meanings, extensive vocabulary, and powerful imagery contained within his works demonstrate his story telling ability. Evident in Shakespeare's plays is the broad use of irony, imagery, rhythm and other literary devices.

  1. Romeo and Juliet theatre production essay.

    action, such as these swordfights in act3 scene1 but he also uses wit and subtle, intelligent wording such as the irony in this story of Romeo and Juliet. His intelligent and ingenious approach to his stories may be one reason to why Shakespeare's plays are so popular as he supplied

  2. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet could so have easily been avoided, how does ...

    my love, and so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own, be satisfied". Shortly after, Romeo without thinking killed Tybalt. But Romeo never told the truth to anyone as his mother and father were not very understanding and was scared someone would get hurt.

  1. Does Shakespeare show Romeo and Juliet as victims of fate?

    This is shown at the feast when Tybalt sees Romeo; he is determined to kill him as Romeo sees Juliet and instantly falls in love with her. From this point in the play love and violence parallel each other. Romeo and Juliet's love is an intense passion that love goes before all other values.

  2. Were Romeo and Juliet victims of fate, love, society or love?

    On, lusty gentlemen' (Act 1, Scene 4 Line 106-113) What Romeo is saying is that from now on his life is given up to the hands of fate, 'a despised life closed in my breast,' he knows he loves

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