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

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What role does fate play in 'Romeo and Juliet'? What role do the characters' choices play? Explain the role of foreshadowing in the play. Give examples. 'Romeo and Juliet', the first romantic tragedy was based on a poem translated from the French 'Novella' (1595). Romeo Montague, who is in love with Rosaline, goes to a party in an attempt to take his mind off her. At this party he meets Juliet Capulet and immediately falls in love with her. Later he finds out that she is a Capulet, the rival family of the Montagues. He decides that he loves her in spite of this, and so does Juliet. They confess their love for each other during the very famous balcony scene in which they agree to secretly marry the next day. Friar Laurence agrees to marry them in an attempt to end the fight between the families. Unfortunately, the fight between the Montagues and the Capulets gets worse and Mercutio (Romeo's best friend) ends up in a fight with Tybalt (Juliet's cousin). Tybalt kills Mercutio, which causes Romeo to kill Tybalt in a fit of rage. For this, Prince (the Chief of Police) banishes Romeo from Verona. Juliet Capulet, according to her parents' wish, is to be married off to Paris. She does not want to marry him so she arranges with Friar Laurence to fake her own death with a sleeping potion that will make everyone think that she is dead. ...read more.


Many characters can be held responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. But personally I think that Friar Laurence holds most of the responsibility for their deaths. The most important reasons were that he married the two lovers, offered Juliet the potion, failed to send the letter to Romeo (in time), and selfishly ran away from the vault for fear of trouble. Friar Laurence married Romeo and Juliet even though he foreboded that this hasty marriage might lead to a catastrophic outcome. When Romeo informed him about marrying Juliet, he hesitated because their love had emerged too suddenly and unadvisedly and that it might end just as quick. He said, "These violent delights have violent ends. And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume." Being a religious and holy man, the Friar should have considered the good side of things. However, he should have had a second thought, for the rivalry between the two families had been ancient and brutal. Could the alliance of Romeo and Juliet really help to end the feud? If it could not, then he was only aggravating the situation by allowing Romeo and Juliet to be together. Even Romeo was responsible for his own death. The love of Romeo to Rosaline shows that Romeo was fickle, superficial and immature towards love. ...read more.


There was a vast difference between Shakespeare's Elizabethan audience and our modern readers. Shakespeare's audience already knew the story and wanted to enjoy how well it was told and not to be surprised by plot turns. Much of this seems monotonous to us (modern readers), but we should imagine it as a game in which actors are tossing out their lines rapidly while the audience scramble to follow and untangle the play. "It is like a contest between the author and the audience." Personally, I think that fate and the characters are both responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo hadn't gone to the party, he would never have met Juliet who would have been married off to Paris. In this case, the story would not have taken place. While going to the party, Romeo feels that he would die at an early age. His negative thinking could also have been an 'incentive' to his own death. Romeo and Juliet decide to get married. This is a wrong decision in the play but is decided by fate. Friar Laurence made the biggest blunder of all by agreeing to get them married. If Romeo had controlled himself and not killed Tybalt, he would not have been banished from Verona. This would prevent another worry to his tragic love life; crime. By killing Tybalt, Romeo Montague became a criminal and a fugitive. "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life." ********************* Ranjan Kale 10KA 1 ...read more.

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