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William Shakespeare-Romeo and Juliet-'Who or what was to blame for their deaths?'

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Introduction

In this assignment I will discuss who was to blame for Romeo and Juliet's death. To get a clear idea of each aspect, such as fate, chance, notorious feuds, adolescent passion and other character's influences, I will explore and investigate the language, social issues and historical values of each argument. The famous William Shakespeare between 1594 and 1595 wrote Romeo and Juliet. Set in 16th century Verona, a city in northern Italy, where a brutal feud between the Capulets and the Montagues were blazing. Romeo, a Montague; Juliet, a Capulet fell in love... Secrecy, passion then tragedy followed, but who or what was to blame? The majority of people back in Shakespeare's day believed in fate and that our lives were controlled by something outside ourselves. They believe we were controlled by fate or fortune. Some people, even nowadays believe in fate and fortune and whatever happens is meant to happen. The Elizabethans thought that every tiny little event or action pushed everything else along in a chain of events. People think they have a choice in what they do, but they don't. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo also acted violently without thinking when he killed Tybalt and later Paris, trying to avenge Mercutio's death. Juliet was not allowed to marry Romeo because her father would never agree and would be insulted at the refusal to marry Paris. At this point in history, Verona was a patriarchal city and fathers had virtual control over their daughters. They may give their daughters to whomever they see fit to and would feel deeply insulted if their daughters chose otherwise. Juliet experienced her father's wrath when he said, "go with Paris to Saint Peters church or I will drag thee on a hurdle hither." This quote shows how fathers in 16th century Verona treated their daughters. Girls had to respect their father's wishes and do as they were told. Romeo and Juliet had to keep their love secret or risk their families finding out. Romeo did not want to kill Tybalt because he was going marry Juliet and become part of their family so Romeo knew it was like killing his own family. Lord and Lady Capulet and Lord and Lady Montague kept the famous feud going but could have easily stopped the whole thing as they were the heads of the family so had most authority. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Friar Lawrence is a holy man who was trying to give righteous advice to Romeo, he provides Juliet with a potion to help fake her death, which caused a lot of confusion and pain to Romeo. His intentions were good but his actions were wrong. I personally think that the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets was to blame for Romeo and Juliet's death due to the fact, they fell in love at first sight and then when they found out they were meant to hate each other, everything started to go wrong due to the secrecy. One bad action led to another, a bit like fate, when one event pushes another along. It was a bit of everyone's fault but because the feud was the main reason for the secrecy and deceit, I blame it over all the influences. I think that the Elizabethan audience would have believed that it was all down to fate because Romeo and Juliet's destiny was written in the stars and they were put on this earth to end the feud between the two families, and they did. 2 Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" Who was to blame for Romeo and Juliet's death? 1 18/4/07 19:34 1 18/4/07 19:34 18/4/07 19:34 1 ...read more.

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