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Who/What is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Who/What is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? 'Romeo and Juliet' is a Shakespeare tragedy which is about a boy and a girl from two different families who hate each other. The boy and girl fall in love but everything goes wrong and they end up killing themselves because they're unable to live a life together. At the beginning of the play there's a prologue which Shakespeare often uses, but in this play he uses the chorus which he took from ancient Greek drama. The chorus tells the audience about the feud and how Romeo and Juliet in dying will end it. It tells us that Romeo and Juliet are 'Star-crossed lovers' implying that fate's already decided what's going to happen. It also says about 'their death-marked love' this shows us that there's no way they could ever resolve the problems because it's written in the stars that they'll die young. This was written in a sonnet form which was very popular at the time for use as a prologue. Shakespeare based Romeo and Juliet on a poem originally written in Italian, then translated into Spanish and then finally translated into English two years before he was born. He also may have based it on the two thirteenth-century Italian families the Montecchi's and the Capuletti's with their political rivalry. ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio is disgusted with Romeo for this "vile submission" and draws his sword ready to fight Tybalt "Will you pluck your sword.... lest mine be about your ears ere it be out." Romeo tries again to make peace "Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up." but they end up fighting and Romeo stepping between them allows Tybalt's sword to reach past him and wound Mercutio. Nothing could have stopped Mercutio fighting because he was hot "these hot days", he's always ready for a fight, he's in a bad mood because Tybalt has been insulting his friend Romeo and he is ignoring it. Mercutio is very loyal to the Montagues and wants to defend their honour. Tybalt says "here comes my man" and Mercutio replies "But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wears your livery." He hates Tybalt because they're so alike always ready for a fight with swords or even words. Romeo feel responsible for his friends' death and he in turn fights Tybalt and kills him. After this Romeo is banished because The Prince doesn't want any more deaths because he feels personally responsible which leads to Romeo and Juliet's deaths. The Nurse is partly responsible because she arranges for Romeo and Juliet to marry and Juliet regards her as a mother, even Lady Capulet says "Nurse, give leave a while, We must talk in secret. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fortune was related to the idea of the future in the stars where you couldn't choose what you did it was already decided. If fortune was true none of the characters in the play could be held responsible for Romeo and Juliet's deaths because fate was already decided as soon as Romeo and Juliet existed. None of the characters would have had any choice over what they would have done because it would have already been decided. When I first started thinking about who was responsible for the deaths I was sure that the feud was to blame because if the feud hadn't have been there in the first place there wouldn't have been any problems and they would have been able to get married. As I began to explore all the other possibilities I became more uncertain, and now I think that everything that happened was down to fate. It was fate that they fell in love, that they met and that they came from feuding families. It was fate that Friar Lawrence agreed to marry them and thought up a plan so they could be together, but fate had other things in store and had already decided that Romeo wouldn't know about the plan and kill himself because he couldn't carry on living without Juliet. The final blow was when Juliet woke and found Romeo dead and took her own life. Friar Lawrence calls fate 'A greater power than we can contradict.' ...read more.

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