Who Is to Blame for the Death of Romeo and Juliet?

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In Shakespeare’s play, “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet”, the two protagonists, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, are “a pair of star-crossed lovers” [Prologue] whose tragic death “buries their parents’ strife” [Prologue]. In the play, many factors lead to the death of Romeo and Juliet; among these are fate, impulsive love and the rivalry between the Montague and Capulet family.

As one of the central themes of the play, fate plays an important role in Romeo and Juliet’s death. Through out the play, fate seems to control Romeo and Juliet’s lives and forces them together and apart. One example of how fate brings the two lovers together is in Act 1 Scene 2, where Capulet Servant invites people to the party, Romeo sees the invitation list with Rosaline’s name on it and decides to attend the party which results in the first meeting between Romeo and Juliet. Another example of why fate is to blame for this tragedy is in Act 5 Scene 1, where Friar’s letter does not reach Romeo due to a random incident. To a large extent, fate is not the only cause of the lovers’ misfortunes; Romeo and Juliet are responsible for their own death as well, due to their impulsiveness.

In the play, both Romeo and Juliet allow their passion to control their judgments, which eventually leads to their suicides. When Romeo finds himself madly in love with Juliet, he completely forgets about Rosaline, a sign of immatureness and lack of consideration. “Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe” [Act 3 Scene 3] is a perfect example that shows Romeo being verbally impulsive. Likewise, Juliet contributes to this “rushed relationship” as well, in the famous balcony scene [Act 2 Scene 2]; Juliet hurries Romeo into marriage by saying “Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘ay’; and I will take thy word.” “O gentle Romeo, if thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully”. Indeed, Romeo and Juliet have to take some responsibilities for their own death, but this whole tragedy would not happen if the...
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