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What caused tradgedy of Romeo and Juliet?

Uploaded by Froggeh on Jan 31, 2002

William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a tragic play that is performed all over the world. Set in the Italian town of Verona, it tells the story of two young lovers from rival families, the Montagues and the Capulets, who end up dying to be with each other.

A lot of people ask the question: What caused these people to die? Was it fate? Was it the ongoing feud between the two families? Or was it Romeo and Juliet’s adolescent passion for each other? In my opinion, fate is to blame for the string of events that eventually led to such a terrible outcome. Throughout the play both lovers make references to the stars, light, and darkness, the usual conventions of fate and higher, more supernatural powers.

In the prologue, the audience are told a brief plot that sums up the play. They are told of the quarrel between the families, and how the feud will end with the death of their children. Romeo and Juliet are described as ‘a pair of star-crossed lovers’. This suggests that fate had brought them together, as if it had been written in the stars. Their love is also described to be ‘death-marked’. This could mean that they were destined to die from the minute they fell in love, and fate would be the deciding factor.

Romeo has a premonition that something bad is going to happen in Act 1, Scene 4. When he is on his way to Capulet’s party, where he meets Juliet for the first time, he recalls a vision in a dream the night before:

“I fear too early, for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels, and expire the term
Of a despised life, closed in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But he hath the steerage of my course
Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen.”

The line “Some consequence yet hanging in the stars” suggests that there is an event that will happen, which he cannot avoid. Romeo also backs up the idea of fate choosing his path when he says “But he hath the steerage of my course”. By this he means that there is a greater power, namely fate, that is leading him, and that he does not have any free will.

Unfortunately, Act 3 sees the start of the string of events that will lead to such a tragic ending. Romeo kills...

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Uploaded by:   Froggeh

Date:   01/31/2002

Category:   Romeo And Juliet

Length:   5 pages (1,021 words)

Views:   2087

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