Society has always questioned whether love or death is a matter of choice or fate. Fate is the theory that everything happens just the way it is supposed to happen. It is also the notion that all things and events are predetermined by a higher power. In William Shakespeares’ Romeo and Juliet, he writes about a young man named Romeo who falls in love with a woman named Juliet. Romeo’s falling in love with Juliet causes multiple people to die including the two lovers, and he is responsible. He claims that he did not kill those individuals, and that it was fate. He also claims that fortune chose for him to end his life in order to be with his lover. In Eric Roth’s academy award winner Forrest Gump, he writes about a young man named Forrest who grew up in Greenbow, Alabama. Forrest tells his life story to strangers while waiting at a bus stop and how he’s made the best of everything that’s ever happened to him. Roth and Shakespeare both write about how the powerful concept of fate and destiny effect human beings because when Romeo’s wife dies he blames fate and when Forrest Gumps’ wife dies he states everybody has a destiny.
We've all heard it before; “It just wasn't meant to be,” or it was. Although it may be frustrating at times, it depends on what side of the fence you are on. We try to make excuses of why things happen in order to find some reality in these circumstances. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Romeo is the kind of character that is a strong believer in fate. In (3.1.11) after Romeo gets married to Juliet he runs into Mercutio, Tybalt (Juliet's’ cousin), and Benvolio. Mercutio and Tybalt start fighting, Mercutio dies and Romeo is angry with Tybalt and seeks revenge. Romeo kills Tybalt and then says “O, I am fortune's fool!” immediately after he kills Tybalt in a duel.
This seems to suggest that fate or "fortune" is responsible for Tybalt's death, not
Romeo. In Eric Roth’s Forrest Gump, Jenny ,Forrest’s best friend at the time, is being chased by her abusive father through the fields. while hiding she prays “Dear God, make me a bird so I could fly far, far, far away from here.” this clearly shows that Jenny believes in fate because saying “Dear God” is referring to a higher power. Again in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in (5.1.24) after the main character ,Romeo, hears the horrible news from Balthasar that Juliet is dead. He cries to the sky “Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!” meaning that Romeo rejects the stars that have decided to separate Juliet and him by death. In Forrest Gump while waiting at a bus stop, Forrest says “ momma always used to say life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” meaning that life is not controlled by the individual and it is unexpected because a higher power determines someone's future. It is clear to see that these stories are similar in the sense that both Eric Roth and William Shakespeare use the theme of fate and it’s effects on people.
Fate is the choice of a higher power but destiny is the choice of the person who believes in their fate. Both Romeo and Juliet and Forrest and Gump are examples of how fate effects humans. Shakespeare and Roth both write about how powerful the concept of fate and destiny are. When Romeo’s wife dies he blames fate and when Forrest Gumps’ wife dies he talks about how everybody has a destiny. This is relevant to our present day society because many believe in fate. Fate can cause issues in society, because we as humans have not learned how to differentiate between fate and freewill. We have to learn to realize the difference between blaming something on fate and taking the blame for our own faults. If we do not do this every generation will have excuses about how fate got in their way when it was really their free will.