The theme of Fate in Romeo and Juliet
Fate is an invisible and unavoidable force. This force can cause consequences and tragedy in people's lives. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, fate is a recurring theme that winds its way into Romeo and Juliet's lives. Fate is demonstrated in Romeo's contact with the illiterate servant, the apothecary and finally Romeo and Juliet’s attempts to thwart fate.
It is no coincidence that Romeo and Juliet meet in the first place. In act one the servingman of the Capulet mansion comes across Benvolio and Romeo unknowing they are Montagues, requesting the assistance of the two to help read the guest list. “My master is the great rich Capulet, and, if you be not / of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a / cup of wine." (Rom. I II, 81-84) It is no accident that the servant ran into the two Montagues. It is by fate that Romeo and Benvolio run into the servingman and discover the party. Also, Romeo’s melancholic behaviour and unrequited love for Rosaline is timed perfectly with the event of the Capulet ball. “Sips the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves, With all the admired beauties of Verona:” (I ii, 85-86) This displays Romeos deep desire to see Rosaline and the main reason for attending the ball. Through Shakespeare's manipulation of the plot, he foreshadows the significant role fate plays to redirect the course of events in both Romeo and Juliet's lives.
Many characters play a role in deciding Romeo and Juliet's fate throughout the play. The Apothecary in act five played a large part in determining Romeo and Juliet’s fate. The Apothecary is a character used by Shakespeare to advance the plot leading the lovers to their untimely death. The Apothecary plays a significant role in making a detrimental decision to provide Romeo with the poison needed to commit suicide. “Come hither, man I see that thou art poor. / A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear as will disperse itself through all the veins.” (V.I.59-61) Illustrates Romeo’s intent to end his life and be with Juliet. On the way to the Apothecary, Romeo describes the physical condition of the Apothecary both of the man and the store. Metaphorically, these descriptions are depicting the Apothecary, but they also provide an insight into Romeo’s state of mind. Romeo is, so grief struck that he is unable to take the time to process Juliet's death healthily. Demonstrates how fate takes over from this point in the play. Unknowingly, Romeo walks right into what fate has...