Fate in "Romeo and Juliet"

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Love Pages: 6 (1681 words) Published: May 29, 2014

Fate in Romeo and Juliet

Fate: An inevitable outcome determining how things come to be. Love: The strong affection between to people. These are two very powerful things that carry out through history and literature. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet fate and love are very powerful reoccurring motifs which shape the young lovers life. But when discussing this play a common question forms, why did these tragic misfortunes happen to this young couple? Romeo’s and Juliet’s infatuation for each other, not fate, clouded their better judgment affecting not only how they made their decisions, but also how they faced their conflicts, and how their decisions affected others, and all of these factors led to their deaths. We can see infatuation and flawed decisions in multiple scenes in the play that emphasize Romeo and Juliet’s obsessive relationship and the position of danger it puts the people close to them in. These scenes are 2.2, the decision to get married, 3.1, the murder of Tybalt, 3.5, the ultimatum to marry Paris and 4.1, Friar Laurence’s decision to give Juliet the powerful sleeping potion. At the beginning of this play Romeo and Juliet made some very hasty decisions that change their life quite dramatically. The first place we can really see the their obsessive behavior affecting them is when Romeo and Juliet get married within hours of meeting each other. As they talk after the Capulet party in the garden They make a vow of marriage and Juliet asks him to go set up their marriage and inform her what to do. “If that thy bent of love be honourable,

Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.”
(2.2 143-48)
When Juliet says this she is being rushed by the nurse to come inside, but Juliet is also rushing to be married. She wants to quickly know when and where they are getting married only after seeing him for the first time in her life that day. At the end of the quote she even says she would follow him where ever, a large commitment for people who just met. Romeo is just as urgent with the wedding plans asking the Friar if he could marry them that day. “…but this I pray, That thou consent to marry us today.” (2.3 63-64). Although they curse fate at the Capulet party when they discover each others identities, they were the ones to recklessly decide to be married in secrecy. Romeo and Juliet are only teenagers and because of their intense infatuation with each other they decide to get married much too quickly. Their rash decisions affect far more people around them than themselves. Not only does their love revolve around the two it involves the family and friends in their lives. One example of this is when Romeo kill Tybalt in a sword fight. This quote is taken from when Romeo discovers Mercutio has been slain by the hand of Tybalt and says that either himself, Tybalt, or both of them will have to die for Mercutio. This exclamation from Romeo shows how his decisions are made too quickly. “Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now! Now, Tybalt, take the "villain" back again, That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio's soul Is but a little way above our heads, Staying for thine to keep him company: Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him..” (3.1.122-29). Romeo starts to attack Tybalt in a fiery rage and they duel until Romeo wins with a fatal stab by his sword. Although he was motivated by his friends death, this was a very poor decision of him to make. Romeo is deeply infatuated with Juliet and has thrown rationality out the window, not thinking about what will happen if he slays Tybalt. This was an accident of Tybalts, he did not mean to kill Mercutio in the fight. But Romeo acted on impulse and attacked Tybalt in a fiery rage. Romeo acted irrationally...
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