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Destiny in Romeo and Juliet Essay

Shakespeare refers to Romeo and Juliet as “star-crossed lovers.” We can not deny the fact that they are ‘destined to be together,’ it is just something that the reader must accept. Fate is inevitable throughout the whole play; Shakespeare never gives readers an explanation as to why there is a feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, it is rather an undeniable aspect of the world of the play. The events surrounding the love affair of Romeo and Juliet are not merely coincidences, but rather all elements that will bring out the unavoidable outcome of the young lovers’ deaths. When fate begins to work its magic, the events of the play and the work of Shakespeare begins to unravel itself. The only reason Romeo decides to attend the Capulet’s ball is entirely in the hands of destiny. By chance, a young knave of the Capulet’s, who could not read himself, had asked Romeo to read an invitation list for the ball.

Young Romeo was hopelessly I love with Rosaline at this time, and he attended the party only in hopes of seeing her. However, at the ball, Romeo falls in love with fair Juliet the moment he lays eyes on her. We can easily say that Romeo and Juliet were ’destined’ to meet and fall in love. After meeting Romeo that night, Juliet is talking to her nurse; ridiculously desperate and dramatic. She has not known man for more than three hours, yet she is hinting that she will die if she does not marry him; as given when she says, “If he be married my grave be my wedding bed.” Acts I and II will appear completely ironic to those who know of the events yet to come. Juliet continues to talk about how their love will kill him, “Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing,” this being one of the most ironic of quotes, as it turns out that their love is the actual cause of their deaths.

Act III’s fighting scene is a crucial turning point in Romeo and Juliet. In the Elizabethan era, it was not unusual to find men fighting in the streets. Commonly, the culpable side would be sentenced to death or as Romeo believes worse, declared banished. The battle between Mercutio and Tybalt begins in the hot streets of Verona. Mercutio is killed, but before he dies he curses both families, “A plague o both your houses.” What he is trying to express, is that he wishes both families would just settle their hostile feud. Once Romeo realizes what has happened he seeks revenge and kills Tybalt. He then recognizes what he has done and what effect it will have on him, “I am fortune’s fool,” he acknowledges the fact that nothing will ever be the same again, “The day’s black fate on moe days doth depend, this but begins the woe others must end.”

Romeo is banished. We are left wondering whether or not Romeo and Juliet would have stayed together if it had not been for Romeo acting upon anger and killing Tybalt. Romeo and Juliet is a drama that overflows with the best works of fate, and the characters seem to know it. Romeo refuses to accept what destiny has dealt him, “I defy you stars,” and Juliet constantly tempts her own fate, “Give me Romeo and when I shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars.” I believe the reason many people still enjoy this play is because of the passion the young lovers have for each other. They both recognize they can’t be together in life, so they come together in death. Romeo and Juliet remains one of William Shakespeare’s best pieces, about two “star-crossed lovers” whose lives were driven by fate.


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