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Fate In William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

3736 words - 15 pages

Fate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

A definition of fate would be the power that is supposed to settle
ahead of time how things will happen. In the famous play Romeo and
Juliet, written by Shakespeare, the two young lovers ended up becoming
a large part of what could be called fate. This ultimate power seemed
to control their lives and it forced them together. I think it was
fate however which ended their parents hatred for each other, some
people say if it wasn't for the unexpected fate, Romeo and Juliet
wouldn't have both died in the tragic way which they did. In this
essay I am aiming to come to a conclusion, in deciding to what extent
were Romeo and Juliet fated to die. Was it fate, a tragedy or both
linked together? They have different meanings and both could be a
possible way to describe the play. Tragedy centres more on one main
character, which by the end has usually died, 'the fall of a hero.'
Many tragedies are painful for the audience to watch and often people
believe if there are no values i.e. a moral/religion involved, then
there can be no tragedy. Does Romeo and Juliet fit these guidelines?

Aristotle is a Greek playwright. He came up with his own criteria of
what he thinks a tragedy should be. Aristotle believes the most
important ingredients of a tragedy, is that there should be a stable
plot, which is the most important feature of a tragedy. It should be
complete with each action leading to the next, so they are able to
connect in a realistic way and the play needs to be of a certain
length. The character should go from good to bad and needs to be
noble, idealized, yet logically constructed. The ending must be
beneficial in the way that the audience will leave better for their
experience. Lastly, Aristotle finds that tragedies should not be
presented in a narrative form, rather more dramatic and less prepared.
I am going to describe the moments in the play, Romeo and Juliet,
where I feel fate or tragedy has taken place. Then I am able to say
whether Aristotle's theory matches Romeo and Juliet to be a Tragedy.

In Romeo and Juliet, there are many scenes in the play, which prove
the existence of fate. Many of them tie into one another and are
related to the characters and their feelings. The prologue at the
beginning of the play explains to us the story in a basic fourteen
lines. Already there are moments of fate- 'star-crossed lovers take
their life.' The most significant part is how it tells us the end at
the beginning. It indicated an unhappy ending from the use of words. I
know fate plays an important part in the key events in this play, as
it has been mentioned in the chorus and would not have been if not
vital. I find it useful the way the opening chorus implies a lot about
fate.

I think the first sign of fate in the play is when the...

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