The Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death

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The Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death

The story of Romeo and Juliet originally came from a myth around the
old town of Verona, later on in history Shakespeare took this idea of
'two star-crossed lovers' and made it into the 'Romeo and Juliet' we
know today. In Elizabethan Verona the story begins with two families,
the Capulets, and the Montagues. The families have been feuding for
many years, much to the dismay of the Prince of the town. The Capulet
family has only one child, Juliet. The rest of the Capulet family
consists of Old Capulet – Juliet’s father, Lady Capulet – Juliet’s
mother, Tybalt – Juliet’s cousin and Juliet's Nurse. The Montague
family also has only one child, Romeo. The family also has Old
Montague and Lady Montague, Romeo’s parents. Here already we can see
a comparison between the two families; both only have one child,
making the final tragic loss far worse. Other characters in the play
are Benvolio and Mercutio – Romeo’s friends Escalus –Prince of Verona,
Paris – Juliet’s husband to be, and Friar Lawrence – A Friar of the
Order St.Francis.

Throughout the play we hear many mentions of fate and chance usually
referring to the stars, and hinting towards the outcome, from the very
beginning during the prologue it says,

‘A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life’.

Both Romeo and Juliet speak of the role of fate and chance, it plays a
major role in the occurrences. Shakespeare wrote the play around fate
and chance with many ‘cross-roads of fate’ where the slightest of
actions may have altered the final result. An example of such a choice
is when Old Capulet decides to ignore the fact that Romeo had entered
their party,

‘Content thee, gentle coz, let him
alone’ says Old Capulet
to Tybalt, meaning calm down cousin and leave him alone, by saying
this and persuading Tybalt to ignore Romeo he unknowingly makes them
meet and fall in love, this could very easily be portrayed to be the
role of fate or chance. Frequently in the play Romeo and Juliet speak
of their role in fate, during the Elizabethan period it was widely
believed that fate was controlling us all and there was nothing we
could do about it, we can see this opinion from Romeo in Act one Scene
four,

‘I fear too early; for my mind misgives

Some consequence yet hanging in the stars’.

Romeo is saying how he thinks he is being paranoid, worrying so early,
and yet he cannot help feeling that something bad will soon happen.
Perhaps the most important of examples for fate/chance is the
messenger sent by the Friar Lawrence to Mantua, unfortunately preceded
by a friend of Romeo, Balthazar. Had the messenger reached Mantua in
time then the tragedy would have been avoided.

In my opinion Fate and Chance had little to do with the tragedy, many...

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