Romeo And Juliet: Fate Or Freewill? Essay, Research Paper
“Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. Chaos always defeats order because it is better organized.” Terry Pratchett (author of DISCWORLD series) This quote relates to Romeo and Juliet in the sense that they are battling for order among the families and that chaos wins in that Romeo and Juliet must die before the chaos ends. William Shakespeare?s, Romeo and Juliet, is a dramatic tragedy that teaches us of the “religious” love felt by Romeo and Juliet, and how the hate between their feuding families will dispute this love. Throughout the play, we learn of themes that center around the rising conflicts of chaos vs. disorder, of fate vs. freewill, and the impatient idea of haste makes waste which will eventually cause the title characters? downfall in the end.
In the beginning, we learn of the feud between the Montague and Capulet families when a fight breaks out in the market place of Verona. A few kinsmen have words and end up in a fight which the prince ends. Tybalt, a Capulet, expresses his hate during the fight when he said, “What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward! (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 71)” Another example of how the feuding force causes so much chaos in the lives of Romeo and Juliet is when they first meet each other at Lord Capulet?s party. They both fall in love but Juliet realizes how their love would not be accepted when she said, ” My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, that I must love a loathed enemy.(Act1, Scene 5, Line 152)” This force of hate between their families proves to be the only force that denies the true love of Romeo and Juliet.
One quality that affects the lives of these two lovers is the fact that their love is so impatient. They base their love on first sight and make haste on their road to marriage. Romeo and Juliet are to immature to make adult decisions of love. One scene that displays this haste is when Juliet impatiently awaits Romeo?s message from the nurse. She expresses this haste when she said, “Nay, come, I pray thee, speak. Good, good Nurse, speak.(Act 2, Scene 5, Line 29)” Juliet shows everyone how they need to take their love slowly and not make such harsh decisions. Another example of child-like behavior is Romeo?s immaturity when Friar Lawrence tells him he is to be banished from Verona. Romeo, childishly goes into a fit and says, ” Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say ?death,? for exile hath more terror in his look, much more than death. Do not say ?banishment.?(Act 3, Scene 3, Line 13)” The fact that Romeo says he would rather die than have to be separated from Juliet proves the point that they are moving too quickly in their love. The reader now realizes that Romeo and Juliet?s impatient love will be part of their downfall.
The two things that control the lives of Romeo and Juliet are those of fate and freewill that continually contradict each other throughout the play. Romeo and Juliet begin their love as an act of freewill. Even though their families are feuding, they take it upon themselves to get married. They decide for themselves what to do in life, which shows how they use their freewill to their advantage. However, the power of fate intervenes their freewill and causes disruption in their lives. One example of how fate played a crucial role in their lives is during the climax when Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo realizes the “misfortune” that this will cause when he says, ” O, I am Fortune?s fool!( Act 3, Scene 1, Line 142)” The image of Fortune?s wheel symbolizes Romeo?s life in that if his luck continues to go downward, it will eventually lead to his death. This prediction comes true in that fate leads to his death. Another problem that fate caused was the death of Juliet. After she discovered Romeo was dead, she felt no reason to continue living on earth and wanted to be with Romeo. She lets fate into her life when she killed herself saying, ” Yea noise? Then I?ll be brief. O, happy dagger, this is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die.(Act 5, Scene 3, Line 174)”
There are many forces in the tragic play of Romeo and Juliet that are keeping the two young, passionate lovers apart, all emanating from one main reason. In this play, the love of Romeo and Juliet may have been the cause that led to the their tragic deaths. Their strong attraction to each other, which some call fate, determined where their forbidden love took them. The leading force, in my opinion, that led to Romeo and Juliet’s death is the conflict between the two fathers, Capulet and Montague. It’s because of this conflict that Romeo and Juliet feel they must hide their love which, in the end, is the cause of their deaths.