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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Who is to blame for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet? There is no specific individual who is entirely to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet; therefore it is necessary to distribute the blame amongst a number of the characters. The role of Fate in the play must also be considered, as Shakespeare's repeated references to this force infer that it too played its part in forcing the two lovers to commit suicide. The way in which characters behave is influenced by the rigid conventions of Seventeenth Century society, contributing to the reasons why Romeo and Juliet felt it necessary to take their own lives. The history of the two families; the Montagues and the Capulets, affects the characters' behaviour, as Romeo and Juliet found it impossible to be together in an ordinary way because of the ancient feud that divided them. Romeo is introduced in Act One as a solitary individual who is acutely sensitive and susceptible to depression when disappointed in love. Whilst Romeo is besotted with Rosaline, Montague informs us that his son spends all day locked in his room. ...read more.

Middle

Considering Juliet's tender age and the fact that the law states a girl's father should choose her husband, this decision seems irresponsible. The young lovers could not have married without the Friar's assistance, so ultimately we could blame him for the marriage and hence the tragedy. The Friar's desire 'to turn your two households' rancour to pure love' suggests that he is politically ambitious, wanting to attract status and praise by resolving the ancient feud. This is a selfish agenda and I feel he should have thought of the consequences before making the decision. However, the audience does feel some sympathy for him. The line 'It strains past the compass of my wits' proves how difficult the situation is for him. He may have been wrong to marry Romeo and Juliet, but he is not wrong to give Juliet the potion, as she may have killed herself anyway, 'I long to die, if what you speak speaks not of remedy'. The Friar is just trying to offer her a way out of the situation and it is Juliet's parents who force her to turn to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many of Shakespeare's Seventeenth Century audiences believed that fate controlled one's destiny. Shakespeare in the Prologue establishes fate as a major cause of the tragedy when he describes the lovers as 'star-crossed'. Coincidences stalk the play. Romeo, in particular has an awareness that fate is working against him 'some consequences yet hanging in the stars'. When Balthasar brings news of the tragedy to Romeo Fate is working against him, as Friar Laurence's messenger has to be held in quarantine due to plague, hence Romeo finds out the wrong news, resulting in his death. Romeo himself explains in Act Five Scene One 'I defy you stars' acknowledging that fate seems to be against him and that he plans to control his own destiny now. In the Seventeenth Century there was a great debate as to whether fate or one's own character controlled events. Shakespeare concludes Romeo and Juliet by suggesting it is a mixture of the two and that perhaps character and fate cannot be separated. After analysing the role of each character I still believe, as the Prince says, that 'all are punished'. However, I also believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions, so most of all I blame Romeo and Juliet themselves. Clare Cannon 07/01/03 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. Romeo and Juliet are to Blame for own Deaths

    Lord Capulet and Montague shake hands. "O brother Montague, give me thy hand, This is my daughter's jointure, for no more can I demand." Here the Capulets and Montagues put their differences aside and no longer will there be conflict between the two houses. We call this play a tragedy because the main characters die at

  2. Who is to Blame for the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    he makes reason for Tybalt to fight him and destroy the peace. After Mercutio as to stabbed under the arm of Romeo Mercutio blames the Houses for the reason on why he was stabbed 'A plague a'both houses!', Mercutio is being hypocritical about this as he is the one who

  1. 'Who is to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet? Discuss.'

    She describes Romeo as a 'dishcloth' compared to Paris when she said that Romeo could not be compared to any other man. She contradicts her opinions. After Tybalt's death, the Nurse becomes less sympathetic and later when Capulet orders Juliet to marry Paris; she defends Juliet at first but later

  2. Writing about the story of Romeo and Juliet, in a prologue then the relationship ...

    She thinks only the most practical way of getting out of all their difficulties. When the Nurse advises Juliet to forget about Romeo and Marry, Paris she motivates Juliet to seek help from elsewhere. The Nurse suggests that Juliet should forget about Romeo and marry Paris.

  1. How far are Romeo and Juliet to blame for their deaths in the play ...

    Juliet also could have avoided disaster had she respected her parents a little more. Things would have been far easier had Juliet married Paris as her parents wished her to. Instead she was very headstrong about the situation and decided to disobey her parents.

  2. Who is the most to blame for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    Before Romeo asks the Friar to marry Juliet and himself, the Friar questions Romeo about where he had been the previous night, as shown by the below quotation: 'Or if not so, then I hit it right, Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.'

  1. How Much is The Friar to Blame for Romeo's and Juliet's tragic deaths?

    to doubt that the Friar is an all-knowing wise man who knows what to do in problematic situations. Romeo's arguments in favour of his current love for Juliet are hardly very creditable: "Her I love now/ Does grace for grace, and love for love allow/ The other did not."

  2. Who would you say is the most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and ...

    After Romeo reveals himself to Juliet, they both declare their love for each other, and plan to marry the next day. This is foolish and too hasty; as they don't know each other that well and seems that they act on impulsive constantly, not thinking about the outcome in the future.

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