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Who is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Who is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? Romeo and Juliet are portrayed as innocents stuck between two warring families. Through studying the play we have looked deeper into the relationships between characters and therefore the part played by each character in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. From this I have been able to decide that Friar Lawrence, Nurse and the parents of the two lovers have most blame. Lord and Lady Capulet have a large part to play in the deaths of the children because they didn't have a close relationship with Juliet. "Thou knowest my daughter is of a pretty age." Here Lady Capulet enquires as to her daughter's age. Nurse on the other hand replies "Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour." Nurse knows Juliet much better than her own mother does. When Tybalt was killed Juliet was distraught because Romeo was banished. Neither of her parents knew her well enough to know or thought to talk to her about what was wrong. Instead Lord Capulet demands she marries Paris and threatens to disown her if she does not: "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch! ...read more.

Middle

Although she was the one to carry messages back and forth between Juliet and Romeo she did so with the best of intentions. After Capulet orders Juliet to marry Paris, Juliet desperately turns to Nurse for comfort. However the Nurse tells Juliet "I think it best you marry the county." The Nurse, as previously mentioned, appeared to know Juliet better than her own mother does. It was the Nurse that brought Juliet up and it was the Nurse that Juliet always turned to for advice. She appeared to love Juliet very much and always tried to do the best for her. I doubt, therefore, that her only concerns when she advised Juliet to marry Paris where selfish fearing for her job etc. I think it is more likely that she truly believed that was the best thing for Juliet to do. Juliet's loss of her only confidante is summed up by Juliet's reply obviously intended to be sarcastic, "Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much." It is because she is so desperate that she turns to the last person who may have been able to help her - Friar Lawrence. ...read more.

Conclusion

The events of the play happen almost like a string of dominos with one event leading to another. For example we could say that if Romeo hadn't been at the party he would not have met Juliet and they wouldn't have fallen in love, but then if it wasn't for the feud there wouldn't have been a problem with them falling in love, and so on. The play is classed as a tragedy. At the start of the play the story is summed up in a sonnet in which Romeo and Juliet are referred to as "a pair of star-crossed lovers" this theme of the stars (fate) controlling the lives of characters is echoed by Romeo in Act 2 "I fear too early yet, for my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars." This suggests that they were fated to die and that no matter what the other characters had done (or hadn't done as the case may be) their deaths could not have been prevented. Carolyn Hylton 11H Romeo and Juliet essay October 2003 ...read more.

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