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Romeo and Juliet - Fate

Topics: Romeo and Juliet / Pages: 4 (817 words) / Published: May 16th, 2013
Brandon G. Richards VARY SS
Period 5 VARY WC
Mr. Brown CONVO
18 April 2013

Fate Conquers All Throughout history it has been argued whether or not humans live with a pre-determined fate or a life of choice. This is affected by religion as well as self-developed ideas. This is an overall idea that William Shakespeare addresses in his play, The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. In his play Shakespeare gives the reader the overall idea that the choices Romeo and Juliet make are what get them killed. It appears this way because of the irrational choices they make out of love. However, Shakespeare has an underlying tone of fate that is brought up many times. Although it may seem like they choose the actions they take that end up getting them killed, it is fate that causes them to make these certain choices. Overall it is fate that Shakespeare chooses to be the overlying reason for the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet. As soon as the play begins Shakespeare informs the audience that fate is going to be the overall end of the main characters in the play. It is stated in the very first few lines of the play when it mentions “a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life” (Prologue 5-6). This is important because he states that fate is going to be the downfall of the couple. Shakespeare also has Romeo get the feeling that the end is near very early in the play. As Romeo heads to the Capulet’s party he explains that “[his] mind misgives some consequence… in the stars / [that will] begin his fearful date” (I.iv.609-10). Romeo fear that something will happen that will ultimately bring his death. This overall lays a path for the rest of the play to go along with the underlying tone of fate. Towards the middle of the play, a more direct knowledge of fates role on the characters is apparent. They begin to acknowledge that fate is upon them and even try to go against it. Juliet directly acknowledges her death, fearing her “grave is like to be my wedding bed” (I.v.765). As fate would have it, her grave basically does become her wedding bed. Romeo also accepts fate, especially when saying he “[is] fortunes fool!” (III.i.1647) after he kills Tybalt. This puts forth the idea that instead of Tybalt’s death being his own fault, it is his terrible fortune and set fate that has caused Tybalt’s death. Lastly, as Romeo leaves the Capulet house after spending the night, Juliet whispers “now, that art so low, / as one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (III.v.2154-6). Even though she says that he looks dead, Romeo simply disregards it and goes on his way. Even when Romeo and Juliet notice everything is beginning to crumble beneath their feet through their determined fate, they refuse to look at it in a grave way. They just continue on with their love until tragic end strikes. As the play comes to an end, many events that occur that can only be explained by fate. The Friar explains many things by fate. As one of his servants returns with the letter that has not been sent to Romeo explaining the plan, the Friar becomes upset and exclaims “Unhappy fortune[,] But my brotherhood, / the letter was…of dear import[ance]” (V.ii.2917-9). Either way the Friar realizes that nothing can be done and only fate can carry them onward. It is also shown that fate is the downfall to the events that have occurred “[at] an unkind hour / [,] guilty of this lamentable chance” (V.iii.3103-4) after he find Romeo and Paris dead. And finally we have the Friar describe that “a greater power… hath thwarted our plan” (V.iii.3110-1). Which overall clarifies the whole play in which fate is the greater power that brought it to a tragic end. With the overall play and its tragic end, fate should be known as Shakespeare’s reasoning for the death of Romeo and Juliet . All throughout, fate is conveyed in many ways. It is brought up in the beginning by dialogue as well as simply being stated in the Prologue. There is also the obvious act in which characters acknowledge it throughout and even in a sense blame it for the tragic ending. Although some might think that the characters choices are what lead to their death, it is shown that fate is what ultimately brought them there. No matter what choices are made in life, fate has a plan for everyone. The only choice that matters to anyone is whether or not there is belief in fate.

Works Cited
Shakespeare, William. The Strange and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. Web.

Cited: Shakespeare, William. The Strange and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. Web.

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