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Who or what was to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Who or what was to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet? The deaths of Romeo and Juliet seem needless, as the main causes for their suicides are the actions of the people around them. The constant conflict between the houses of Capulet and Montague are the basis for the pair's secretive love affair and had it not been raging then the na�ve pair may have come clean about their undying affection. Romeo and Juliet are not directly involved with the continuous tension between the households, but Romeo does become drawn in when Tybalt slays Mercutio. Romeo is a young teenager, a member of the Montague household, who unfortunately falls for the surpassing beauty of Juliet, a Capulet. He blames Fate or misfortune for nearly everything that goes wrong; after he kills Tybalt, he realises the seriousness of his action but prefers to blame the stars rather than himself. "O, I am fortune's fool". The killing of Tybalt is the biggest mistake Romeo makes as it leads to his banishment and it means he can no longer see his beloved Juliet. The audience cannot place all blame on Romeo, for the death of Tybalt as he is determined to fight Romeo. When he refuses, Romeo's closest friend, Mercutio, steps in and draws his sword. They fight and Romeo intervenes trying to stop them, but this, according to the dying Mercutio, gives Tybalt the opportunity to kill him, "I is hurt under your arm". ...read more.

Middle

Juliet, who now faces the rest of her life with Paris, turns to the Friar for a solution. He supplies her with a "sleeping potion" which she uses to make it look like she is dead so she does not have to marry Paris. It is fair to say that Friar Lawrence is one of the main people to blame for the tragedy, as it is his plans that go wrong. But from Romeo and Juliet's view he is very helpful and always has a solution for their dilemmas The Nurse is one of Juliet's closest friends, apart from Romeo. She is not particularly clever or sensitive and does nothing to warn Juliet of how an involvement with a Montague might cause problems to Juliet and her family. In Act 1 Scene 3 when Lady Capulet is discussing the possibility of marriage to Paris, she makes jokes and finds it very amusing, "A bump as big as a young cockerels stone". Even though the Nurse may be very simple minded and talkative she is very loving and fond of Juliet "Well sir my mistress is the sweetest lady" (Act 2, Scene 4) The Nurse appears to have got too carried away with the situation and is eager for Juliet to marry, but she offers no advice or caution to what Juliet is doing, although she clearly knows that Juliet is young and inexperienced. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Prince is the ruler of Verona. He tries to keep the peace, but not hard enough to stop the tragedy. He has the chance to enforce the death penalty on Romeo. For example after the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt the Prince tells the citizens of Verona "who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?" (Act 3, Scene 1) He seeks justice for these murders. If he tries harder to prevent the quarrelling and carries out more of his threats, the feud may not get as bad as it does. At the end of the play, however, he accepts some of the responsibility for what has happened by "Winking at their discords" (Act 5, Scene 3). He also tries to bring the two sides together by, "What a scourge is laid upon your hate, /that heavens finds means to kill your joys with love" (Act 5, Scene 3). I do not think there is one single person who is wholly to blame but Friar Lawrence plays a large part in the tragedy, mainly through his complicated plans, which require accurate timing, and in the end simply do not happen. Romeo does not receive the letter, so when he hears the bad news from Balthasar, he thinks Juliet is really dead. Friar Lawrence need not have granted the requests of Romeo and Juliet without carefully considering the consequences. I do not think fate plays a part in the play as there are too many mistakes made by the main characters. ...read more.

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