How far do fate and destiny play their parts in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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Lisa Atkinson

Personal Writing – Response to a Shakespeare play

How far do fate and destiny play their parts in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

“Romeo and Juliet”, is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Romeo and Juliet come from feuding families, the Montagues and Capulets, but they defy the feud and fall in love. Many events take place during the five short days that they share their love. Romeo’s and Juliet's love finds a tragic way to overcome the differences between their families. The story revolves mostly around Juliet while she grows up and falls in love, only to have fate keep her from complete happiness.

The power of fate is introduced in the Prologue of Romeo and Juliet when it states that the two are "death-mark'd." From that point on, fate deals the lovers its worst and ends as predicted, with death. Fate is the force that predetermines events, but since the story takes place in a Christian context, fate can also be interpreted as Providence, or God. In Romeo and Juliet, fate is the biggest force opposing Romeo and Juliet. It is more powerful than the hate between the families because the lovers found ways to beat the hate, but there is no way to beat a predestined death. Some might call these events coincidences, but it is written as fate in the Prologue.

William Shakespeare begins his play with the Prologue to make it clear that the fate of the lovers is not their fault; they are not entirely responsible for their misfortune. The Prologue directs our attention to the important part which fate plays in the lives of the two young lovers, who are to some extent the victims of their parents' strife. The Prologue states,

 "The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,"

This implies that the fate of their love is death. The first coincidence is that Romeo and Juliet shared the unfortunate fate as they are from feuding families. It is not very likely that of all the people to fall in love with, they had to choose each other. Without the fate of the young lovers, the story would not have existed. There are many smaller details of fate that leads to the couple's demise, but none as important as the fact that the end is stated in the beginning.

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Juliet a mere thirteen years old, is the young daughter of Capulet, a rich man in Verona. She is practical, honest, and loyal to herself and her family. She is also very passionate about her love; however she has control of her passion. The play is about how she discovers love, then abruptly being, according to her nurse, as good as widowed. She grows up over a very short period of time before her ill-fated death. Romeo and Juliet is very much the story of a girl becoming a woman. She acts as the protagonist of the play since ...

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