Who Is Most to Blame for the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt Pages: 7 (2905 words) Published: January 17, 2011
Who was the greatest contributor to the death of Romeo and Juliet? In this essay I will be writing about William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, I will be doing an in-depth analysis as to who I think is most to blame for the sad eventual deaths of Romeo and Juliet, analysing each character in detail. First, let’s start with the general storyline. It is fourteenth century Verona, an Italian city. Two families, the Capulet’s and Montague’s, have been feuding for centuries, the reason for this we never actually find out. The two lovers, Romeo and Juliet, after an unfortunate sequence of events which I will explain later, both end up dying, but who is to blame for them dying? That is what I am explaining in this essay. Mercutio is a kinsman to the prince and friend of Romeo. He is neither Montague or Capulet but he stays on the side of the Montague because he is Romeo’s friend. Some of his most famous quotes in the play include; “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man”, and “A plague a’both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me.” Mercutio persuades Romeo at the start of the play to go to the Capulet party, which is where Romeo met Juliet in the first place. I don’t think he can blamed for their deaths in this way as he didn’t even know Juliet existed at that point. Later on in the play, Mercutio and Romeo are hanging out together when Tybalt comes up to them, Tybalt then insults Romeo in an attempt to provoke a fight but Romeo responds calmly and it is Mercutio who then fights with Tybalt, in defence of his friend. Romeo tries to stop the fight but in the confusion, Tybalt stabs Mercutio and dies shortly afterwards. Mercutio didn’t need to start a fight with Tybalt as he is not a Montague, he didn’t hold a grudge against him. When Mercutio got killed, this fuelled Romeo for revenge as Tybalt had just killed his best friend and walked away from it with his head held high. Romeo went after Tybalt and caught him by surprise, subsequently killing him as well. When Prince Escalus heard about the two deaths, he couldn’t do anything about Mercutio’s death as the person who had carried it out was now dead, he had been killed by Romeo, who was still alive, he sent Romeo into exile. He banished him to Mantua, which made it near impossible for him to see Juliet again. Mercutio was to blame for this as he had started off an unnecessary fight in the first place and without that happening Romeo wouldn’t have gone after Tybalt as he didn’t want to cause harm to him because at this point, Romeo and Juliet were married but nobody knew. He couldn’t tell Tybalt that they were married, as a Montague-Capulet marriage was strictly forbidden and morally unacceptable for both the families, but as we saw, Romeo and Juliet couldn’t hide their love for each other and had to be together. The banishment of Romeo made him even more saddened and depressed as he didn’t get to see Juliet. I would say that Mercutio is partly responsible for the eventual tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but not the most responsible. The Nurse is a servant to the Capulet household, and has been Juliet’s carer since birth. In the days when the play was set, it was standard practice for rich families like the Capulet’s to employ a nurse to look after the child full time, from birth, and she is still looking after Juliet now at Juliet’s age of Thirteen. Throughout the play, I think she is the only real person that Juliet can turn to for guidance, her father is intent on her marrying Count Paris, her mother also, not really listening to Juliet’s feelings, just doing what they think is best for the future welfare of their family. Juliet feels closer to the nurse, you can tell this by the language she uses when speaking to them compared to her mother. She addresses her mother by “Madam”, and the conversations between her and her mother are proper, and formal, whereas when she is talking to the nurse she is a lot easier about telling the nurse about her...
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