Romeo and Juliet Freewill vs. Fate

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Romeo and Juliet: Literary Essay

Are our lives controlled by fate following one path, or prompted by freewill giving us the constant chance to change our outcome?

Every waking moment we are faced with decisions that – whether big or small – make different types of impacts on our lives and others. Although it was Shakespeare who made it seem so the characters had no free will, within real life our fate isn’t written for us. Every decision is another opportunity to change the paths of our outcome. Characters such as Romeo, Friar Laurence, and Lady Capulet are faced with the conflicts that fate presents them, in which they use their free will to take action upon.

Being the main character, throughout the entirety of the play the actions and consequences Romeo takes with his freewill is often mistaken with fate. “I fear, too early: for my mind misgives” Romeo had felt an uneasy premonition before heading to the Capulet ball where his infatuation with Juliet begins. Whether being granted this gut feeling by fate as a warning, or it just being coincidence: Romeo chose to ignore it. Often throughout the novel, Romeo continues to seduce Juliet. With the many instances of foreshadowing, also evident to the character, Romeo used his freewill to continue to strive for Juliet even though it was already a predetermined failure. “Is it even so? Then I defy you, stars!” When Romeo finally takes his own fate into his own hands, he ends up killing himself for no reason. With his acknowledgement to “fate” he uses this epiphany to decide his own only leading to an irrational conclusion. Romeo’s choices contributed to his fate, more than fate itself.

Often we are prone to blaming higher powers for our own mistakes; much like Friar Laurence did. “In one respect I’ll take thy assistance be/For this alliance may so happy to prove/To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.” Friar Laurence took it upon himself to wed the two teens, possibly not thinking in his

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