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Who (or what) are principally to blame for the deaths of Romeo & Juliet?

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William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet is questionable on who really is responsible for the play's tragic outcome. We know that the feuding between the two houses of Capulets and Montagues is the main cause, but I believe that there is much more than that to blame: part of the blame goes to Mercutio, Juliet's nurse, Tybalt, and Friar Lawrence as well. Everybody may have their own opinion on this particular question, but nobody will truly know who is the most responsible. In my opinion, I believe that everything contributed to their tragic end, but I believe the aspect most responsible for it is the hate between the families and then next is the hasty action of Friar Lawrence and the two star-crossed lovers, Juliet and her Romeo. The hate between the Montagues and the Capulets is the main cause for Romeo and Juliet's tragic end because if they were united, then the couple never would have had any problems, most likely in getting married because their families wouldn't have forbidden it. Since they were enemies, they had to get married secretly. They killed themselves because they would have rather died together than live alone without each other. ...read more.


Most likely, he knew that she would do something drastic if she was left there alone, but he gets scared and thinks only of himself at the moment. As a result, she commits suicide because of his hasty and not careful actions and planning. Romeo's friend, Mercutio, could have contributed to their fate because while he was dying, he screamed out to the streets, "A plague o' both your houses." This is a curse he gives to the families, which will affect Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio is totally unaware though of Romeo's love for Juliet. He dies without even knowing the purpose of this play. Love is nonsense to Mercutio. He believes like in his speech about Queen Mab that love is "an open arse and a poperin pear." Mercutio should have never gotten into the middle of the fight between Romeo and Tybalt, but as a result, he dies and Romeo kills Tybalt, which really catapults the horrible events yet to happen. He seems to provoke the feuding and battles. During the dance, where Romeo and Juliet first meet, Tybalt is furious that Romeo is there, but Capulet is angry with Tybalt for not being tolerable. Even when talking of peace, he seems to want war anyway. ...read more.


The families feuding were the most responsible for the terrible outcome of the star-crossed lovers, then second is Romeo, third is Friar Lawrence, fourth is Tybalt, fifth is the Nurse, sixth is Mercutio, and then last is Juliet. It is obvious why the feuding is most responsible, but the reason why Romeo is second is because he decided to not be careful with his fate and is responsible for his own actions and choices. Friar Lawrence is to blame for a large portion as well because the misunderstanding of his plan at the end is what made the lovers finally commit suicide. Tybalt encourages the families to be even more distant and hateful, the Nurse inspires Juliet to lose hope, and Mercutio curses their fate together. I think the least responsible is Juliet because given the circumstances she was in, it is understandable why she did the things she did. She was clearly miserable with her family and did not want the life that her parents planned for her. There was nothing that she could do to stop that, so the only outlet was suicide or to run away. Romeo died though, and that is why she did as well. With that said, that is why I believe my argument is still valid. Shamil Akram Year 11A ...read more.

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