Who was to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?
In this essay I will be exploring the reasons as to why some people would argue that a certain person or people are to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. I will show understanding of the plot, character and themes and Shakesperes use of language and dramatic devices within the play. Firstly, some people believe that the parents of Romeo and Juliet were to blame for their deaths because of the ongoing feud between the two families. The argument between the Montague’s and Capulets is mentioned in the prologue, ‘Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break, to new mutiny, where civil hands make civil hands unclean, from forth the fatal loins of these two foes ... doth with their death bury their parents strife, the fearful passage of their parents rage’. The point is made, that if the two families did not have such hatred for each other, it would not have resulted in the deaths of the two ‘star crossed lovers’, Romeo and Juliet. It is almost certain that if the parents had gotten on right from the start, they would not have had a problem with the love that Romeo and Juliet shared and they would have let them get married to each other with probably no hesitation. ‘Disobedient wretch… get the to church a’ Thursday, or never after look me in the face.’ (3.5) this quote shows the pressure Juliets father put on her to marry Paris. If Lord and Lady Capulet had given Juliet their full support when growing up they may have understood her feelings for Romeo, therefore Juliet would not have had to go out of her way to try and stop the marriage her parents had arranged to one of the most important men in Verona, Paris. Some may argue that Juliet’s parents, Lord and Lady Capulet were more responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. ‘When it did taste the warmwood on the nipple.’ (1.3) This quote backs up that the nurse had been more of a mother figure to Juliet than her own mother had ever been. When Romeo and Juliet decided to get married, Juliet confided in the nurse as she felt she could trust her with everything. The nurse was the person Juliet looked up to as a mother. Maybe if Lord and Lady Capulet would have paid more attention to their daughter in her childhood and bringing up then Juliet may have been able to confide in her parents about her love for Montegue, Romeo. Another character which could be blamed for the two lovers deaths could be The Capulet’s servant. Lord and Lady Capulet were throwing a Masquerade Ball at their house and gave this one certain servant the responsibility for giving the invitations to ball out to the names listed on the guest list. There was one problem with the servant, he was illiterate. ‘ God gi’ god –den. I pray, sir, can you read?’ (1.2) this was said by the servant to Romeo and Benvolio who, unknown to the servant are both montegue’s. The pair took the chance of reading the guest list to the rival’s ball and Romeo spied his current lovers name on the guest list, Rosaline. Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio and a group of about 5 or 6 other men turn up at the Capulet’s mansion to crash the party. An intelligent member of the Capulet family, Tybalt, spots Romeo at the party, and insists he wants to kill Romeo. He decides to let it lie, as long as the Montague is causing no trouble he is fine. It is not much longer until Romeo and Juliet set eyes on each other for the very first time. Romeo describes his lips as ‘two blushing pilgrims’. A pilgrim is a word given to a person which visits a holy place to worship. Shakespeare is using a sonnet with Romeo, in other words Romeo is saying he is the Pilgrim who is devoted to Juliet. Maybe if the boys were unaware of the guest list and Romeo was never so madly in love with Rosaline they would have never had such intention to go to the Capulets party. If the servant had a good education maybe he would have been aware of the names on the...
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