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Who or What Was to Blame for the Tragedy of Romeo + Juliet?

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Introduction

Who or What Was to Blame for the Tragedy of Romeo + Juliet? Romeo and Juliet are presented as a pair of "star crossed lovers", destined to fall in love, with all of their actions pre-planned. Is Shakespeare trying to present fate as the main cause of Romeo and Juliet's death, or does he wish us to see that any particular characters should be pinpointed? The most obvious of all the characters to blame would be Romeo and Juliet, because they did take their own lives, but Shakespeare may wish us to look deeper to discover who really is the main culprit behind this horrible sequence of events. Shakespeare does bring fate into the play and gives it a considerable amount of mention, he does this very deliberately and the terms "star crossed lovers", and "death-marked love" are examples of this. There are many moments in the play where it seems that certain events taking place are inevitable, for example if Mercutio had not started trouble with Tybalt in the street, Romeo would never have killed Tybalt and would not have been banished. ...read more.

Middle

It is fair to say that the Friar has very important involvement in the tragedy, but he is always only trying to help Romeo and Juliet out of their problems, it was not a good idea for him to let himself become so involved with the plot and can only have himself to be angry with when he eventually gets the blame. Romeo starts out in the play as a mischievous young teenager who has a crush on a girl but quickly falls in love with one of his family's enemies and becomes involved in a life of murder, secrecy and tragedy. He has a lot of misfortune and nearly always blames fate when something goes wrong even after he murders Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, he blames the stars rather than himself, "O, I am fortune's fool". The killing of Tybalt was the worst choice he could have made, although he cannot be blamed for it as he did try to stop the fight between Tybalt and his best friend Mercutio, however it meant that he was banished and could not see Juliet without risk of being caught and killed. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that Mercutio got himself a bit too involved but was just trying to be a good friend to Romeo, I do not think Tybalt or Mercutio can be blamed as neither knew about Romeo and Juliet's love and may have acted differently if they had done. After studying in detail the involvement of each character and fate's inclusion in the play, I do not think that one character can be pinpointed as being wholly responsible for the tragedy. I think that each character contributed to the sequence of events ending in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but I also think that of all of the characters, Friar Lawrence is the one that can take most responsibility. I say this because he had a very large input and some complicated plans which did not pay off, the Friar need not have tried to help the young couple so much and could have stopped it all by refusing to marry them and telling their parents. I do think that Shakespeare wished us to see fate as partly to blame and I think it did play a small part in the couple's doom, but there were far too many individual mistakes for fate to be blamed entirely. 1 1 ...read more.

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