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

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet English coursework. Q- Who or what is to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? In this essay I will explore all acts in Romeo and Juliet and find the answer to 'who or what is responsible for the lover's deaths?' I will look in detail to all the different people and factors that could have affected Romeo and Juliet's death, explore all the ideas of why Shakespeare wrote what he did and come to my conclusion. For hundreds of years people have argued over the cause of the deaths of the 'star-cross'd lovers' and has never properly been resolved, and never will. Romeo and Juliet's whole relationship started as soon as they first met, this is why some people say that Mercutio is to blame. We first see Mercutio in act 1 scene 4 with a laddish, macho but considerate attitude. 'Nay gentle Romeo, we must have you dance' he tells Romeo, trying to persuade him to go to the Capulet's ball, but he is lovesick with Rosaline and declines. This leads to Mercutio saying 'you are a lover, borrow Cupid's wings, and soar with them above a common bound.' Implying that he should get over Rosaline as there are plenty of other girls and go and have fun at the party. ...read more.

Middle

This hits Juliet hard, that the one person she trusts and thought understood her most is now telling her the one thing she doesn't want to hear and has betrayed her. So this is how the nurse could be to blame for Romeo and Juliet's death. If nurse hadn't have betrayed Juliet she wouldn't have gone to friar Laurence's cell, distraught, he wouldn't have given her the poison and the deaths could have been prevented. Friar Laurence's part in the play I think is quite significant. He knew about Romeo and Juliet's relationship, married them in secret and supplied Juliet with the drugs to make her fall asleep. 'Come with me, and we will make short work. For by your leaves, you shall not stay alone, till holy church incorporate two in one' he says before marrying the couple after encouraging the relationship, surely knowing that it could only end in trouble. And, when Juliet turns to him in need he gives her the remedy which causes her to go to sleep and Romeo to kill himself. The deaths could also have been caused by the 'ancient grudge' between the opposing families. If the families didn't have such a hatred for each other then maybe Romeo and Juliet could have confided in their families rather then keep the relationship a secret. ...read more.

Conclusion

To summarise, Romeo thought he loved Rosaline but as soon as he meets Juliet he forgets all about her, which suggests that the relationship with Rosaline was just a lust and not real love, as it is with Juliet. Also it could be chance that, after Romeo's banishment he did not receive the friar's letter containing Juliet's status, after the friar had said that he'd get the letter delivered quickly. And in the ending scene Juliet did not awaken merely not much longer than 'Full half an hour' before she actually did, as this would have prevented Romeo's death. When it comes to the end of Romeo and Juliet's short lives, Shakespeare makes it clear that they love each other and are willing to do anything to be together with Romeo saying 'Here's to my love. O true apothecary: thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.' And Juliet; 'O happy dagger. This is thy sheath, there rust and let me die'. The lovers would rather die to be with each other than live and not be together. So it is the purest of love that causes the suicides. However, in the prologue, it says that 'a pair of star-cross'd lovers, take their life' so we automatically know that from the very beginning of the play fate is involved. ...read more.

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