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Chance

Uploaded by kenman71 on Dec 17, 2001

Most of Shakespeare’s plays are based on either tragedy or comedy. A typical Shakespearean tragedy involves love, a breakdown of order, and a hero who must fail due to some human limitation. The play Romeo and Juliet satisfies two of these elements, but it does not portray Shakespeare’s traditional tragic hero. In its place Shakespeare points out how chance can manipulate people’s lives. There are some instances that can be related to chance, and these instances affect the plot to form a connection between Romeo and Juliet and chance. For example, Romeo is affected by chance throughout the play due to the incidental encounters he has with Juliet, a servant, and Tybalt. In addition, Mercutio is also a victim of uncertainty because of the events that led up to his death. Finally, chance and timing have an immensely significant influence on the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

There are a number of random meetings during the play that cause unforeseen events to take place. For example, Romeo’s first involvement with chance is when a servant inadvertently happens upon Romeo and asks if he knows how to read. Romeo reads a guest list for the Capulet ball. After finishing the list, the servant out of appreciation invites him to the ball if he is not a Montague. The servant coming across Romeo was by pure accident, and if this improbable event had not taken place, Romeo would have never been able to meet and fall in love with Juliet. In addition, Juliet is subject to chance in very much the same way as Romeo. Juliet’s relationship with Romeo also transpires as a result of happenstance because if Juliet’s father did not give Paris permission to marry her, there would have been no reason for the party. Furthermore, when Romeo meets Juliet for the second time, the meeting occurs as a result of an unplanned excursion by Romeo because he abandoned his friends and happened to wander into the Capulet’s orchard while Juliet just happened to be on the balcony. Just like with Romeo, it is circumstances out of her control that draw her into the forbidden relationship.

Chance not only causes certain characters to meet, it also sways some of the characters to react beyond their control. For instance, when Romeo stumbled into Tybalt at the party and Tybalt says, “This, by his voice, should be a Montague.” If Tybalt did not know...

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Uploaded by:   kenman71

Date:   12/17/2001

Category:   Romeo And Juliet

Length:   4 pages (992 words)

Views:   1888

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