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Who Should Be Held Responsible For The Death Of Romeo And Juliet?

1310 words - 6 pages

Recently we have read the renown tragic play of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. As we all know, this tragedy ends by the untimely death of Juliet and her Romeo. But after putting down the book, a question comes to mind: who is truly at fault for the death of those two teenagers? Who is truly responsible for turning this story into a tragedy? Or is anyone even guilty at all? After some reflection, I have come to the conclusion that nobody is really at fault, but that everybody did a little something and that all those little somethings added up to create a big something, the death of the two protagonists. Yet, if I had to choose the people who, although unintentionally, contributed ...view middle of the document...

Although, it could be argued that it was culturally normal at the time to be married at thirteen to a stranger, against your will, just for the money and pride, but of all the decisions that influenced a bad ending made because of the traditions and culture, I think that this cultural decision contributed to Juliet’s doom more than any other. If the culture allowed kinder fathers, then Juliet would not have threatened her death to Friar Lawrence to find a way to join her husband in the next 48 hours and this play would have been more of a comedy and less of a tragedy. Nonetheless, while Lord Capulet can’t be held truly responsible, he was the one that said those words that twisted the whole plot. Yet, blaming him alone would be a mistake. Benvolio is also at fault.
Benvolio is also responsible for the death of Romeo and Juliet. Although it might be thought that he didn’t do anything by just vanishing once Romeo was banished, therefore leaving him out of trouble and the blame, that couldn’t be more wrong. He is absolutely responsible for almost everything, and he has no cultural excuse use as did Lord Capulet. Indeed, in the beginning of act three, Mercutio, Romeo and Tybalt fought, while Benvolio watched on the side. First, he could’ve been less of a coward and more of a friend and go help out Romeo and Mercutio, but when you’re an absolute and utter poltroon, you can’t really help that. No, he did something else that really influenced the plot. When the Prince arrived to inspect and stop the chaos reigning downtown, Benvolio replied: “Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay [. . .] This is the truth, or let Benvolio die” (III, i, 148-171). Benvolio was the only person who witnessed the whole fight, knew how it began, and knew who slain who, yet he told the truth to the Prince, knowing that his friend and cousin would be killed. Plus, when the Prince suggested the death of Romeo, Benvolio did absolutely nothing to catch up his mistake, and just kept silent. He might have been under the pressure of talking to the highest-ranked person in town, but if had lied and told the Prince that Mercutio and Tybalt killed each other, or that Romeo was only protecting himself and that he killed Tybalt out of self-defense, then Romeo would still be happily living in Verona with his dear Juliet. But no, Benvolio had to tell the truth. It could also be thought that there were citizens that observed the scene as well, but William Shakespeare clearly states in his play that the citizens enter after Romeo has exited, therefore leaving Benvolio as the only one with the...

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