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Who is to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Who is to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? Romeo and Juliet are described as two star-crossed lovers who take their lives. They both came from feuding families, which held an ancient grudge against each other. It is a tragedy that Romeo and Juliet end up killing themselves because it was the people around them, mainly their families who were feuding and arguing. This meant that the two lovers had to take such great risks to be together, because they refused to stop seeing each other. Eventually they took their lives, which seemed almost inevitable because of from the pressures put on them by the people around. To Shakespeare's audience destiny and fate were both accepted concepts; unlike today, when most people prefer to look for someone to blame, instead of believing that their fate is inevitable. We don't like to think that we are not in control of our own lives. In this play it is difficult to get away from fate. In what the characters do and in what they say. From the very beginning Romeo and Juliet are described as having "death marked love" which suggests the play is going to have a theme of fate. Fate can be seen in the play as operating on many occasions e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet's nurse could be compared to Friar Lawrence. She is a character who is not directly involved in the conflict between the two households, but she also knew the risks involved in the relationship. The nurse facilitates the story, she gives people messages, informs them about what is generally happening. Juliet is very close to her Nurse because she had been like a surrogate mother to her. The Nurse contributes to the tragedy because she encourages Romeo and Juliet's relationship. Even though she knew how costly it could be. Unfortunately because she deeply cares for Juliet, it means her judgment is distorted, meaning she does things she shouldn't do. She warns Romeo not to use Juliet "if you should deal double with her, truly it were and ill thing... and very weak dealing." She also helps to organise their marriage and relays messages between them. The nurse isn't always encouraging them though. In act three scene five, the Nurse advises Juliet to forget about Romeo and marry Paris. This may seem like the correct thing for the nurse to say, but this eventually leads to Juliet taking the potion, because she feels betrayed by her nurse and has no one else to turn to other than the Friar. ...read more.

Conclusion

"O happy dagger, this is thy sheath" The intensity of their love for each other could also be counted as being to blame for the tragedy of their deaths, as neither could consider life without the other. There isn't one single person or factor to blame for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Everyone has in someway contributed as I have shown. Unless you believe in fate. In which case everything I have written about could have been controlled and preordained and "the fearful passage of their death marked love" as the prologue says was inevitable. The main factor to blame was the feud between the Montages and Capulets because all the actions of the individuals were driven by the feud. If the two families had got on well together, there would have been no need for Romeo and Juliet to resort to subterfuge and they would have been able to marry with their parents' approval. There is a clue to this in that, lord Capulet says of Romeo "Verona brags of him to be a virtuous and well-governed youth" At the end of the play, Capulet and Montague both acknowledge that it is their enmity to blame. "As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie, Poor sacrifices of our enmity" ...read more.

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