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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

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. The concept of fate - Romeo and Juliet

    all affect who we become and develop into, which, ultimately, is fate. As much as we would like to deny it. Some things just can't be explained unless you look to the higher reasoning and to the higher cause, and sometimes the good out of the bad is visible.

  2. Romeo And Juliet - "Consider the role of Fate, Fortune and The Stars in ...

    In L. 59 of the same scene and conversation Romeo says, upon being asked whether he can read: "Ay, mine own fortune in my misery." In saying this Romeo could be suggesting that he can perhaps foresee his destiny to be miserable or that this misery will be the cause of his death.

  1. At the end of act II, Romeo and Juliet are married and unaware of ...

    'Star-crossed' refers to the astrological outlook on destiny that was much more widely accepted when Shakespeare wrote his tragedy. By including this line so early in the book, Shakespeare creates a sense of anticipation in the audience. From the start they know what the eventual outcome will be, but the questions of 'how?'

  2. Were Romeo and Juliet victims of predestination and fate, or were their tragic ends ...

    Romeo's initial inciting with Juliet is based on Fate. "God gi' go-den. I pray, sir, can you read?" (Act 1 Sc.2 L.58) The illiterate servant who asks Romeo to read the Capulet invitation list provides him the opportunity to be present at the Capulet party, if this event had not taken place, Juliet would most probably have married Paris.

  1. Friar Laurence

    Friar Laurence suggests that if Juliet is willing to die to avoid marriage, then she would have no objection to drinking a solution of mine, which simulates death (Lines 70-88). The Friar tells Juliet to no longer resist the marriage to Paris; tomorrow on Wednesday night, Juliet is to sleep alone and not with her maid as usual (Lines 90-93).

  2. 'Discuss the role of parents and parent substitutes in Romeo and Juliet. How responsible ...

    Her plea for the death of Romeo is vehement and impassioned: 'Romeo must not live' and '...shed blood of Montague...' Her subsequent withdrawal from her daughter, in spite of Juliet's heartfelt plea to her mother for help ('O sweet my mother cast me not away!')

  1. Discuss the Role of Fate In Romeo and Juliet

    The audience, feel so content when we see Romeo and Juliet are so in love. Then, when we are reminded by subtle hints in the conversation, we feel impotent of changing what will happen to them both, as fate decides everything.

  2. The Characters in this play are:

    They had the idea that they are in love. How could they have fallen so deeply in love in one conversation. Selfishness- Everyone in this play is selfish (except Benvolio). Juliet never told her parents about Romeo, and acted selfish by faking her death, which upset everyone.

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