Destiny In Romeo And Juliet Essay, Research Paper
Romeo and Juliet is indeed a pair of star-crossed lovers (Prologue, Pg1). From the opening scenes of the play, the children of the two feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets, the young couple is presaged to fall in love and eventually die together. Evidently, fate has a major role in this play as it unites the couple, separates them, and reunites them with death.
How did Romeo and Juliet meet? In my opinion, they could have not avoided coming in contact with each other. In Verona, a medium-sized city in Shakespeare s time, and bumping into each other is highly unlikely. As Romeo and Benvolio chatter in a public area, an illiterate Capulet servant asks Romeo to read a guest list aloud. After Romeo reads it, Benvolio suggested that Romeo should go to the ball and compare Rosaline to other fine beauties in the party in order to relieve himself of his sadness for Rosaline. (Quote) If Rosaline had not been attending, Romeo would not have the idea of attending a Capulet party. Once Romeo and Juliet spot each other in the ball, the sparks of love cannot be stopped. They are scores of people on the street, why would the servant choose Romeo to read the guest list for him? The answer would be fate.
Romeo s banishment, separating the couple from being together is also involved with fate. The exile started when Tybalt has sent a letter challenging Romeo to a fight to the death. Romeo refuses because of his marriage to Juliet. Mercutio fights instead, and he was killed. Romeo discards his softness and kills Tybalt. At the end of the battle, Romeo realizes that fate is against him and cries out, O, I am fortune s fool! (III, I, Pg 47) The Prince then announces the banishment of Romeo. The Prince declares in the first scene that any more violence between the two families would result in death penalty. (Quote) Why would Prince, a man of nobility go back on his words? Romeo s exile prohibits any possibility of the couple uniting together. Juliet mentioned that the banishment cause her great sorrow, more than if he had been executed. (Quote) Romeo s separation from Juliet, caused by the Prince s sudden generosity, initiates Friar Lawrence s scheme that eventually leads the two lovers to their suicides.
In reuniting the young couple, bad timing played a chief role. Friar Lawrence, the mastermind in reunion of the couples had two ways of delivering message to Romeo about Juliet s apparent death. The first method is to send message with Romeo s servant, Balthasar. The second way is to deliver the message with Friar John. The first approach failed because of bad timing. Friar Lawrence is forced to use his backup plan. But, Friar John, the messenger was locked up in a house because of a pestilence. How often does that happen? Romeo learns the wrong message for Balthasar and decides to kill himself. As a reference to the star-crossed lovers, Romeo cries out, Is it even so? Then I defy you, stars. (V, i, Pg 80) Towards the end of the novel, there are examples of close calls, which involve timing as well. As Romeo is ready to kill himself, he utters, Death that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath no power yet upon thy beauty. Thou art not conquered; beauty s ensign yet is crimson in thy lips and cheeks. (V, III) Romeo is saying that how alive Juliet looks and she could wake up any moment. That is, indeed true. If only Romeo had arrived half an hour later than he did, the couple would be together again. Bad timing possesses the element controlling deaths in this act, more so than any other act in the novel.
Romeo and Juliet is controlled by destiny; there is no doubt about it. The events that lead to the couple s deaths are all controlled by fate. The list, as mention before is as follows: meeting, separation, and death reunion. Coincidences are evident in the novel, and as they build up, the reader s idea of reality changes, and enables Shakespeare to create one of his greatest tragedies.