Fate and Chance
The idea of fate and chance play a large part in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and challenges the ability characters in the play’s actions and free will. Through many different characters, language and scenes, Shakespeare has clearly woven in this theme through the text right from the beginning in the chorus. For example the sixth line in the play is “a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life”. Already, one of the first lines tell us how Romeo and Juliet may have been fated to be together as it was written in the stars. However, it may also have been fate for them to die in order to demolish the feud of the families. Throughout the whole play, several characters try to change this course of action including Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet though through unfortunate chance and probability, their short love and death was inevitable. Friar Laurence is an important character that constantly defies or changes the course of fate and is often seen as having much responsibility in the tragic end of Romeo and Juliet. When the Friar first enters the play, he is depicted as a sensible and conservative religious figure who is Romeo’s close confidant and advisor. Though the Friar disapproves of Romeo’s rash decision to marry Juliet, he agrees to wed them to try and resolve the Montague-Capulet family feud yet the Friar still shows uneasiness as he says ‘So smile the heavens upon this holy act, That after hours with sorrow chide us not!’ (Act 2, Scene 6, Lines 1-2) meaning that he is worried that this marriage will create despair and sadness. However, after a drastic turn of events as Tybalt’s death by the hand of Romeo leads to him being banished, the Friar disregards his previous philosophies (Act 2, Scene 3, Line 90 – Friar Laurence: Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast) and produces a brash and desperate plan to sort everything between the families out and allow Romeo to return from Mantua to stop Romeo from killing himself and...
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