"Two households, both alike in dignity, / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, / From ancient grudge brakes to new mutiny, / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. / From forth the fatal lions of these foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth with their death bury their parent's strife. / The fearful passage of their death-marked love, / And the continuance of their parent's rage, / Which, but their children's end, naught could remove
" -The Prologue, Romeo and Juliet (by William Shakespeare).
Fate plays a major role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The prologue describes Romeo's and Juliet's fate, which we see come up many times later on in the play. Throughout the play, Romeo and Juliet unwittingly realize they cannot exist in such reality and that a tragic fate awaits them. The two families, the Montagues and the Capulets continue being rivals all the way to the end of the play until the inevitable event takes its place.
In the play, there are many pieces of evidence that further present the prologue's sad foretold reality. Even as early as the first scene of the play, we already see some evidence to back up the prologue. "[Romeo]
And makes himself and artificial night." (I, i, 38) This passage can be seen as the foreshadowing of Romeo's suicide. Another line said by Montague, which is "Unless good council may the cause remove" (I, i, 140), also is evidence of Romeo's tragedy. In the first act, Romeo is introduced. His great sadness is shown right away and the theme of love is seen as well. Through Romeo's mellow mood we see how desperate he is for love. Romeo is in love with Juliet, which is the daughter of an enemy to the house of Montagues. Fate is definitely involved here, and this innocent love is the first step in a chain of events that lead to the fate driven tragedy. In the same scene, Tybalt is infuriated with Romeo. He is ready to kill him and believes that Romeo is his sworn enemy.
Tybalt. This, by his voice, should be a Montague
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What, dares the slave
Come hither, covered with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honor of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold not a sin.
(I, vi, lines 54-59)
And to even worsen the situation, Tybalt, says the following to his father, in the intent to show that he is not joking and that he is going to try and kill Romeo: "I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet; convert to bitt'rest gall." (I, vi, lines 91-92) The two families' rage here is shown and also fate takes its slow coarse and death is already foreshadowed. It is very important to emphasize at this point that the love between Romeo and Juliet cannot exist because of the rage between the two families. Fate is already taking its place. And this particular event, the first acquaintance between Romeo and Juliet, has started the chain of tragic events that shall eventually bring peace to the streets of Verona. Here is another passage which underlines the effect of Romeo's and Juliet's deaths: "For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households' rancor to pure love." Many times there are small reminders between the lines, of the tragic fate that the play is heading towards. Such one is this: "Friar. These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume." (II, vii, lines 9-11) This line tells of sad reality and its consequences. As tough as reality might be, it gets even worse for Juliet and her Romeo. She has to marry Parris because her father wants her to do so. She now has to hide her love and secretly meet Romeo, so that no man in Verona shall know of their forbidden love. Her fate it sealed, as it now seems. But stars have different intents with Romeo and Juliet. As Juliet is in despair, she confronts the Friar Lawrence. They talk of how they shall not allow Juliet to marry Parris....
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