Romeo and Juliet: their names alone will usually bring thoughts of one of the most tragic love stories to this day. Most people are quite familiar with the newlywed couple committing suicide together because their love was forbidden. However, if someone were to look at it from a different angle, Romeo and Juliet weren’t the only ones who decided their death. Yes, they finalized their deaths, but they weren’t the only ones at fault. In fact, they were murdered by people with good intentions. This leaves us with the question of who killed them? Most characters in this play had a role in killing both Romeo and Juliet, especially Juliet’s father, Lord Capulet; Juliet’s nurse; and Friar Lawrence, the holy man to whom the couple turned to for guidance. It was a series of events caused by these specific people that caused the young couple’s blooming love to be cut short. It all began with the Capulets and the Montagues feuding with each other. Romeo started off feeling depressed after he was rejected by a lady he was interested in. To cheer him up, his two close friends, Benvolio and Mercutio offer to take him along to sneak into the party that Lord Capulet was throwing. At this party, Romeo lays his eyes upon Juliet. Romeo and Juliet fall in love and later both realize they were meant to be enemies. “My only love sprung from my only hate!” (Act 1, Sc 5, ln 138) Romeo and Juliet decide to keep their love a secret, and ask Friar Lawrence to marry them the following day. After the marriage, the audience feels as though things are going well, but then Friar Lawrence, Lord Capulet, and the Nurse began to get involved. The nurse begins with a helping hand, Lord Capulet with a threat, and the Friar with the plan. It is this, which leads the two to their deaths.
The nurse in the kitchen with the knife! (Clue, Pratt, 1944) The nurse was just one of many people who killed Romeo and Juliet. She had taken it upon herself to help and encourage Juliet to marry Romeo. The nurse was often times Juliet’s only friend, and she had taken this role of friendship over her duty to the Capulet family. The nurse’s decision to do so helped cause Romeo and Juliet to end their lives. Well, sir; my mistress is the sweetest lady- Lord,
Lord! when ‘twas a little prating thing,- O, there is a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard; but she, good soul, had as lief see a toad, a
very toad, as see him. I anger her sometimes and tell
her that Paris is the properer man; but, I’ll warrant
you, when I say so, she looks as pale as any clout in
the versal world. (Act 2, Sc 4, ln 191-198)
The nurse begins by telling Romeo about Juliet as a child. She suddenly remembers to warn Romeo that a man by the name of Paris wishes to court Juliet. The nurse also tells Romeo that Juliet does not like Paris, and that she sees him as a toad. She continues by mentioning how Juliet gets angry when the nurse tells her Paris is the better man for her. Based off of this, the audience can now see that the nurse is on Romeo and Juliet’s side and is helping Romeo succeed in marrying Juliet. The nurse becomes a messenger between the forbidden couple and makes several attempts to help. This later proves disastrous because when the nurse got involved she encouraged them to get married which only added fuel to the fire. Had the nurse told Lord and Lady Capulet what was going on with the couple, Romeo and Juliet’s deaths could have been prevented.
Lord Capulet in the dining room with the candlestick! (Clue, Pratt, 1944) Lord Capulet held a very large role in killing Romeo and Juliet. He decided since Juliet was mourning over the death of Tybalt, that he should force a marriage upon her to cheer her up. When she refused him, he then threatens to disown her. But, an you will not wed, I’ll pardon you.
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.
Look to ’t, think on ’t, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise.
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