Providence's Manipulations in Romeo and Juliet

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In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Providence manipulates events to restore social order and resolve conflict between Romeo and Juliet’s families. The ancient feud between the Montagues and Capulets requires divine intervention from Providence. Romeo and Juliet’s deaths are used by Providence as sacrifices to atone for their parents’ sins and to end the petty feud. Providence uses multiple characters to ensure they meet and fall in love and die as sacrifices. It disguises itself through a series of ironies, accidents, and coincidences throughout the play and uses fate and love as its instruments. The swirling traffic of events establishes the seriousness to resolve the conflict that harms Verona’s society. Romeo and Juliet’s lives are constantly manipulated by Providence to renew society and end the feud between their families.

Providence manipulates the decisions and actions of characters within the play to bring the lovers’ lives and deaths together. Romeo providentially meets and falls in love with Rosaline; however, his love for her is unrequited and Providence uses this rejection to prepare Romeo for the pains and dangers of love. Rosaline motivates Romeo to attend the Capulet feast where he will eventually meet Juliet. At the feast, Tybalt catches sight of Romeo and intends to fight him. However, Providence brings Capulet, master of his house and the strongest enemy of Romeo’s family, to restrain him, letting Romeo remain at the feast to meet Juliet. “Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone,/’A bears him like a portly gentleman;” 1 Providence uses Capulet to ensure the meeting between Romeo and Juliet, the two pawns in the process to end the feud. Capulet obliviously plays a role in the lovers’ deaths. Providence manipulates Friar Lawrence’s actions by moving him away from the tomb as Romeo commits suicide and Juliet awakes, who also kills herself, allowing no interference in Providence’s plans. Characters within Romeo and Juliet play a key role in...
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