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Would an audience see Romeo and Juliet's death as a tragedy of fate

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Would an audience see Romeo and Juliet's death as a tragedy of fate? It is very apparent in many of Shakespeare's plays, including Romeo and Juliet, that fate and destiny play a key role. This aspect could be seen as a main basis of Shakespeare's acclaimed works, and is comparable to the Greek tragedies written thousands of years before, by playwrights such as Euripidies and Sophocles. In addition, many of these plays contained a tragic hero with a fatal flaw, which inevitably leads to his death. For example, one character, Ajax possesses a fatal flaw, and he eventually commits suicide, seeing it as his only honourable way to die. I expect Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Greek tragedies. His plays are also often tragedies, and most of these were tragedies of fate. A fantastic example is the famous play Macbeth. The witches predicted the course of events to follow at the very beginning of the play. It could be argued that, as well as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet was in fact also a tragedy of fate, for many reasons. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo, who acts too hastily and rushes into things before really thinking about them, could be seen as the "tragic hero". For example, had he not have asked Juliet to marry him so suddenly, and thought more carefully before rushing back to Verona after hearing of Juliet's death, the events which fell into place as consequences of his actions could have been very different. ...read more.


Offspring were expected to respect and obey their parents. So when Juliet went against her parent's wishes, it was quite controversial. Lord and Lady Capulet were very strict and harsh parents, and wanted the very best for Juliet, possibly to receive what was best for them. They tried to set Juliet up with an arranged marriage to Paris, a nobleman, endowed with all the qualities that would make him (in their eyes) and ideal husband for Juliet, without her consent. When Juliet stood up to them and disobeyed her parents, the Elizabethan audience would have been shocked and astounded at such actions. Lord Capulet believes that Juliet should obey his wishes and tried to dominate her. He scolds her, threatens to drag her to church on a hurdle, calls her insulting names, demands she obeys him, comes close to physically assaulting her ("my fingers itch"), and threatens to disown her and throw her out of his house unless she marries Paris. Lord Capulet makes clear that he regards Juliet as a possession, to be disposed of as he thinks fit, with the worst consequence if she disobeys: "And you be mine, I'll give you to my friend; And you be not, hand, beg, starve, die in the streets." In Shakespeare's time destiny, fate and the stars were believed to have an effect on, if not entirely run, everybody's lives, so luck was unheard of. ...read more.


Romeo also makes decisions. He chooses to fight Tybalt, although it could be argued that he is so angry that there is very little choice involved. Also among other characters there are choices made. The Nurse chooses to assist Juliet. The Capulet's make a choice of husband for Juliet with no alternatives. Friar Lawrence willingly marries the couple and assists them, but then betrays Juliet at the end when she most needs his help. The Nurse also chooses to encourage Juliet to forget her husband, and marry Paris instead. And even the citizens of Verona choose sides, opting to be part of the ancient feud kept going only by their anger for one another. Finally it is fate, destiny and chance that bring the lovers together, and even in death they are side by side. It is plain to see that Romeo and Juliet are indeed, "star-crossed lovers", for fate brings them together, but fate also tears them apart again, and is responsible for their tragic end. But the closing moments of the play don't suggest that the death of the young lovers ends the feud. The Prince's reproach to Capulet and Montague, "See what a scourge is laid upon your hate", suggests that the tragedy has a social cause: the feud that has racked the city. It is a travesty that it took the huge, awful consequence that was the death of their only children to make them see how terrible and out of hand their childlike actions were. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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