Romeo and Juliet's Deaths as a Tragedy of Fate
It is very apparent in many of Shakespeare’s plays, including Romeo
and Juliet, that fate and destiny play a key role. This aspect could
be seen as a main basis of Shakespeare’s acclaimed works, and is
comparable to the Greek tragedies written thousands of years before,
by playwrights such as Euripidies and Sophocles.
In addition, many of these plays contained a tragic hero with a fatal
flaw, which inevitably leads to his death. For example, one character,
Ajax possesses a fatal flaw, and he eventually commits suicide, seeing
it as his only honourable way to die.
I expect Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Greek tragedies. His
plays are also often tragedies, and most of these were tragedies of
fate. A fantastic example is the famous play Macbeth. The witches
predicted the course of events to follow at the very beginning of the
play. It could be argued that, as well as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet
was in fact also a tragedy of fate, for many reasons.
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo, who acts too hastily and rushes into
things before really thinking about them, could be seen as the “tragic
hero”. For example, had he not have asked Juliet to marry him so
suddenly, and thought more carefully before rushing back to Verona
after hearing of Juliet’s death, the events which fell into place as
consequences of his actions could have been very different.
For example, had he not have acted so rashly when he saw Juliet lying
on the bed, dead, he wouldn’t ended his life so drastically, and
Juliet wouldn’t have committed suicide either.
Although Romeo’s hasty decisions and rash changes do contribute
something to the tragedy, it could be seen that it is not really the
actions of the lovers that directly cause their deaths, but perhaps
fate itself. As Romeo says: “My mind misgives some consequence yet
hanging in the stars”.
At the very beginning of the play, the chorus hint that fate will play
a large part in the story with lines such as “death-mark’d love” and
Another relevant and important point to recognise is that, throughout
the play, many letters are sent, and all go astray or missing. The
first letter to go astray is the letter announcing the Capulet’s
party. The servant who has the letter cannot read, and so asks Romeo
as he passes him in the street for his assistance. Romeo, therefore,
hears of the party and attends, thus meeting Juliet.
The second letter to go missing was a letter from Tybalt, which was
sent to Romeo, challenging Romeo to a duel. Romeo never receives this
letter, and this ultimately leads to Mercutio’s death.
The final letter to be misplaced is the letter from Friar Lawrence to
Romeo, explaining the situation surrounding Juliet, Paris, and
Juliet’s fake ‘death’. This was probably the most...