The role of fate in Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet are two young lovers fallen victims to fate. William Shakespeare incorporates many dramatic events into his writing to better describe how the never-ending rivalry between the Montague and Capulet families influences the lives of their young kids. Moreover, the author illustrates through the play’s events that an individual can not just overcome fate, despite one’s efforts.

Additionally, the genius author implies that  Romeo and Juliet’sJuliet’s passionate love for each other won’t survive the hatred between their families, so their sincere feelings will lead to their inevitable fate of death. In fact, much of the story revolves around the struggles of Romeo and Juliet against the intuitions that explicitly oppose the existence of their love.

The Fate in Romeo and Juliet

The fate of Romeo and Juliet was determined from the very beginning, as forbidden love has no chance for development in that society: “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life”.

The author is convinced that fate determines the lives of the young lovers, as it intervenes in all of the events happening to them. For example, the root of hatred between the Capulets and Montagues is never discussed. Everyone rolls with it in their endeavors. Furthermore, the tragic events leading up to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet are not a coincidence as well.

Friar Lawrence’s plan to save Romeo and Juliet shatters into pieces when Friar John returns and says: “I could not send it-here it is again-/Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,/ So fearful were they of infection”.

Even Romeo and Juliet know how much fate holds on to their lives. For instance, when Romeo discovers that Juliet is dead, he cries in agony: “Is it even so? Then I defy you, stars!”. He then attempts to fight fate by taking his life, which brings us to another cruel expression of fate: the unfortunate timing of Romeo’s suicide and Juliet’s awakening, when lovers miss each other by several seconds.

The author highlights the extreme force that fate has on the lives of individuals. In the play, the characters are aware of how fate predetermines their lives but, unfortunately, have no idea that their destiny is unchangeable. Therefore, any efforts of Romeo and Juliet to go against their fate only contribute to the events leading up to their deaths. It proves that when an individual attempts to disobey their future, one only contributes to it.

What Role Do The Parents Play in Romeo and Juliet

Another valuable factor leading to Romeo and Juliet’s deaths is their families’ antagonistic role. From the beginning, the Montagues and the Capulets are illustrated as fierce enemies. Once Tybalt dies, Juliet’s father fiercely tries to persuade Juliet to commit to Paris: “But fettle your fine joints, gainst Thursday next/To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,/ Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither”.

However, Juliet’s devotion to Romeo pushes her to disobey. Eventually, the pressure from the parents gives Juliet no choice but to commit to Friar Lawrence’s plan, which, unfortunately, leads to her death.

With every passing minute, the rivalry only deepens before Capulet and Montague learn the truth. Finally, when Capulet sees the lifeless body of his beloved daughter, he exclaims: “This dagger hath mista’en-formista’en-for lo, his house/ Is empty on the back of Montague,/ And it mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom”. Who would have known that the families were the main reason for the young lovers’ death?

The hostility between the families and the expectation to be loyal to one’s family create an inner conflict for Romeo and Juliet, ultimately resulting in their deaths. Throughout the play, William Shakespeare emphasizes how unsupportive parents and their interests can affect their children. This pressure forces children into making rash decisions and letting go of their true desires, leading to undesirable results.

Conclusion

Although the outcome of the play is pretty straightforward, the main objective of this play is to emphasize how a simple sequence of events can lead to the deaths of two innocent people.

Overall, the play “Romeo and Juliet” features the presence of outside forces. These are the inevitability of fate and the role of parents that are more concerned with their problems, rather than their kids’ wellbeing. As we see through the text, their death was inescapable, despite the young lovers’ efforts to overcome and trick their fate. Furthermore, their inattentive parents, who failed to understand Romeo and Juliet’s perspectives, contribute to the eventual outcome. Shakespeare emphasizes the actions instead of the tragic ending by letting the readers analyze and think about the classic love story.

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  1. Shakespeare, W. (1993). Romeo and Juliet. Dover Publications.
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