Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet are described as a "pair of star-crossed lovers."
Write about the way in which fate is shown to contribute to their
"Romeo and Juliet" would have been performed to an Elizabethan
audience. The Elizabethan audience believed very strongly in "fate"
and "fortune". They believed in the power of herbs, the sun and the
stars. Herbs had to be picked at certain times of the day for them to
work, according to the stars. There was also the belief of a Wheel of
Fortune which changed continuously. Fate was destined to happen and no
one could alter it. Right from the beginning of the play we know that
Romeo and Juliet have "death marked love" which builds up the dramatic
tension throughout the play and kept the audience watching.
The play starts with a "chorus" which explains to the audience what
will happen during the play. So from the very start we know that they
have "black fate" and that the play will end in tragedy.
Throughout the play the audience sees how Romeo and Juliet defy fate
and in some ways fate influences their actions. It also can be said
that because of the way fate acts Romeo and Juliet determine their own
fate. The first main event when Romeo and Juliet try to defy fate is
when they agree to get married even though their families have an
"ancient grudge" and Juliet's "only love" comes from her "only hate."
They however do not let this stand in their way and decide to get
married in secret and challenge death to do "what he dare." The next
incident that causes Romeo and Juliet to defy fate is when Romeo is
"banished" and Lord Capulet tries to get Juliet to marry the "noble
gentleman, the County Paris." Lord Capulet feels his daughter should
marry because she is depressed as her love Romeo has been sent away.
Her parents however feel that she is longing for her "dear cousin"
Tybalt and think that marriage will improve on her sadness. In
Elizabethan times sadness often lead to madness which was another
reason to why Lord Capulet wanted to marry his only daughter. Juliet
decides to take a "distilling liquor drink" which will give her the
"borrowed likeness of shrunk death" deceiving all who are close to
her. They also defy fate when they both kill themselves to be together
in heaven. Romeo's and Juliet's actions are influenced by fate because
if fate had not done what "he dare" they would not have acted so
irrationally. In a way Romeo and Juliet also made their own fate in
the methods above because they continuously challenged fate and acted
The play has a number of incidents when it is suggested that fate
plays a part. In every act there is an event when you can detect fate
and the "Wheel of Fortune" turning. The first incident is how Romeo
and Juliet meet. They meet at the Capulet party...