Fate Of Romeo And Juliet Essay, Research Paper
The Fate of Romeo and Juliet
by Paul Schonfeld
In William Shakespeare?s Romeo and Juliet, fate plays an extremely powerful role throughout the story. It turns out to cause many terrible events. Shakespeare hints at the outcome throughout the story and makes the reader hope more and more that Romeo and Juliet can live together. Unfortunately, the fate of Romeo and Juliet isn?t a very preferable one. Fate can be defined as an inevitable and often adverse outcome or condition; destiny. Romeo and Juliet were ultimately the ones responsible for their own deaths. The destinies of these two ?star crossed lovers? were not set from the start of the story, but almost all events that took place brought Romeo and Juliet closer to their inevitable fates. There were too many coincidences to give the reader any doubt that the actor and actress in the play were entirely the masters of their futures.
The first coincidence was that Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers, shared the unfortunate fate that they were from feuding families. The two of them were a perfect match, and were completely in love with each other, and the odds that one was a Montague and one was a Capulet were incredibly slim. They both showed their grief when they learned that the other was from the opposite family. ?O dear account! my life is my foe?s debt.? (Act 1, Scene 5, 132), and ?My only love sprung from my only hate.? (Act 1, Scene 5, 152) were the two expressions that Romeo and Juliet exclaimed. Juliet had the right idea when she showed her frustration with the feud, and its influence on R&J?s relationship, in her soliloquy on the balcony, and said, ?What?s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet…? (Act 2, Scene 2, 41-52)
Besides the fact that they probably would have never been able to live a peaceful life, none of the tragedies would have occurred had they not met in the
first place. The scene, where the Montagues find out about the Capulet ball is another twist of fate. The servant of Capulet, who happens to be illiterate, was given the job of telling people about the party, but only those specifically on a list written up by his master. Since he could not read, he was forced to ask two strangers to explain it to him. Those two people could have been anyone, but they just happened to be Romeo and Benvolio.
When Juliet is ?buried? twenty-four hours before Friar Lawrence planned, it gave Friar John less time to get the message to Romeo. Beside that, Balthasar came in on one day only to see how Juliet was doing. If Juliet would have been able to take the potion as scheduled, Balthasar would have seen Juliet doing well and been able to come back to Romeo with a report of good news. Romeo would then have had no reason to buy the poison and commit suicide. Friar Lawrence would have sent another messenger and all would have been well.
Although Romeo and Juliet were responsible for their own physical deaths, fate still played a big role in getting the two to even think about committing suicide. The most obvious example of fate was the quarantine in Mantua. Friar Lawrence?s plan was that Juliet would be laid in the tomb, appearing to be dead, and when she woke up, Romeo would be there to meet her. Friar Lawrence was supposed to get a message to Mantua, where Romeo was at because of his banishment, and inform the boy about the plan. This is a seemingly perfect plan, and gives the readers a sense of hope, but the plan is ruined when the they discover that there was a quarantine in Mantua, and Romeo was unable to get the letter. This was the point in which Romeo decided that it would be best if he committed suicide.
William Shakespeare had countless times where he could have saved both of them, but he does not. He gives the reader a little hope that the two will survive, but with each event, that hope is crushed. Although Romeo and Juliet did not have to kill themselves, none of the the tragedies would have occurred, had it not been written by such an unpredictable mind as Shakespeare?s. Truly, fate is the most dominant force in the play, and is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.