Fromal Essay

1817 words - 8 pages

Romeo and Juliet is widely known to be a tragedy, but what caused the atrocity for which it is so renowned? Some may argue fate was to blame for Romeo's and Juliet's deaths, that the situations these young lovers faced were depicted as being out of their control. Could Romeo have refused to attend the Capulet masque? Was Romeo destined to duel the raging Tybalt? Did Romeo and Juliet truly have to kill themselves? If one considers the specific circumstances and causes of these situations, the fact that all scenarios are the result of choice rather than chance, and the notion that the characters were never left without options, only one conclusion can be determined. It was unarguably ...view middle of the document...

This occurrence was not destiny; it was the contemplated decision made by Romeo to do something irresponsible. Upon being presented with the opportunity to go to the party, it can be seen that Romeo foresaw his demise when he said:I fear, too early; for my mind misgivesSome consequence, yet hanging in the stars,Shall bitterly begin his fearful dateWith this night's revels, and expire the termOf a despised life closed in my breastBy some vile forfeit of untimely death. (Romeo and Juliet 1.4.106-111)However, even with this knowledge that he would die as result of going to the masque, he consciously decided to venture out and disregard his safety. Immediately after recognizing his possible death, he went on to say "But He that hath the steerage of my course/ Direct my sail?"(Romeo and Juliet 1.4.112-113) Not only did Romeo actively choose to do nothing to alter this grim destiny, he deliberately submitted to follow the path on which he was doomed. Fate, or some other power, presented Romeo with this vision of his death that he could use to prevent disaster, yet he chose to let tragedy befall him.Following the party where Romeo and Juliet first met, beginning their tragic relationship, Romeo continued, and Juliet started, to demonstrate self-destructive acts. Romeo desired to be with his love interest, and so sought her despite the dangers such action entailed. He chose to re-enter the Capulet's domain, abandoning this friends, in order to find Juliet. Romeo's decision perpetuated his and Juliet's relationship, which could have ended at this point, as the two were not likely to see one another without forced action.With Romeo arriving at her balcony, Juliet made a choice that was severely against her best interests, increasing the likeliness of a terrible end. She stated "I have no joy of this contract tonight./ It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden…" (Romeo and Juliet 2.2.117-118) showing she recognized the folly of swearing her love to Romeo. The choice she made with this knowledge, however, lead towards her and Romeo's destruction; she told Romeo "If that thy bent of love be honourable,/Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,…/ And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,…" (Romeo and Juliet 2.2.143-147), thus making the decision to marry Romeo, and do what so recently seemed irrational to her. This built up the potential for Romeo and Juliet to meet with untimely death, further leading to the fatal tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.The deaths of Romeo and Juliet were brought about by their marriage and their refusal to be without one another; when they decided to be wed, blame must be placed upon them for their decisions, but also on Friar Laurence, who married them. While Friar Laurence would not have married the two youths had they not chosen to do so, conversely, if the Friar had not decided to join them in marriage, Romeo and Juliet could not have become husband and wife. Friar Laurence demonstrated that he knew ...

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