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The Choice of Family or Love Essay

Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play that conveys the importance of choices made because of true love. One of the major choices, which is also a theme, it is the decision of choosing family or true love. During William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet make choices that lead up to them ending their lives. During this play Romeo and Juliet, the children of feuding families (the Capulets and Montagues), fall in love and are forced to chose between their families or true love. After they meet at the ball, Romeo makes the choice to trespass on Capulet property to see Juliet again. Shortly after they agree to go and be married. Juliet, who was supposed to marry County Paris but is now secretly married to Romeo, makes the decision to pretend to die so she will not have to marry Paris and can run away with Romeo. Romeo and Juliet make choices that favor each other over love their own lives.

The first choice leading to death is Romeo sneaking onto Capulet property to see Juliet after the ball. This choice signifies Romeo’s rebellion on his family because he trespasses on his family’s enemy’s property to see their daughter. Neither Romeo nor Juliet care that their families are enemies for Juliet says, “Tis but thy name that is my enemy. / Thou art thyself, though not a Monague. / What’s Monague? It is nor hand, nor foot, / nor arm, nor face, nor any other part / Belonging to a man…That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” (Shakespeare 2.2.40-44) to which Romeo replies, “I take thee at thy word. / Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized; / Henceforth I never will be called Romeo” (Shakespeare 2.2.49-51).

Juliet makes a truthful opinion when she says that Montague is just a name and that Romeo, or any other person, is more than a just name. She also states that a name does not describe a person’s personality or appearance; that a name does not change who a person truly is. Romeo is in love and agrees with Juliet; he states, that if she wanted, he would not be called Romeo or a Monatgue any more (Shakespeare 2.2.61). As Romeo and Juliet fall deeper in love they begin to make more choices that deny their families and put their own lives in danger.

Subsequently, the next choice Romeo and Juliet make may have sealed their fate. Shortly after they first meet Romeo and Juliet agree to be secretly married by Friar Lawrence. Juliet has been arranged to marry County Paris, but she loves Romeo so she agrees to marry him in secret with only two other people knowing: Friar Lawrence and Juliet’s nurse. At first Juliet was resistant to be married but after going into her house for a moment she quickly reaches a decision; she says “Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow… / Where and what time thou wilt preform the rite…” (Shakespeare 2.2.144-146). Juliet talks to her nurse while she is in her house and after she return she agrees to be married to Romeo, which he was unprepared for because she had early said, “I have no joy of this contract tonight” (Shakespeare 2.2. 117). The next day they meet in Friar Lawrence’s cell to be wed, for it is a short, secret wedding. After being married, Romeo and Juliet preserved their fate forever, never to be changed because of the love they feel for each other.

The final decision that culminates to Romeo and Juliet both dying is when Juliet takes a potion from Friar Lawrence to make he look dead. Romeo had been banished from Verona and Juliet was due to marry Paris, so in her despair Juliet went to Friar Lawrence. Friar Lawrence came up with a plan: Juliet was to take a sleeping draught that would make her look like she was dead; then Friar Lawrence would send a letter to Romeo telling him to come and see her awaken from the draught.

Juliet took the draught but the letter never got to Romeo; one of his servants told him that Juliet was dead. In his misery Romeo returned to Verona. He arrived at Juliet’s tomb and got into a fight with Paris, in which Paris lost and died. Then seeing Juliet dead, Romeo took a poison and committed suicide. Juliet finally awoke to find Romeo dead; and in her pain she tries to poison herself, too. When she hears people arriving Juliet realizes that by the time the poison would kill her it would be to late, so she stabbed herself with Romeo’s dagger (Shakespeare 5.3.169). In conclusion Romeo and Juliet’s love for each other ends up killing them both.

William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story. True love is a virtue every person should experience but in this play it turns into a murderer. Romeo and Juliet’s choices force them to end their lives with suicide whether it was intended or not. In the end Romeo and Juliet’s deaths were good because they can live together, forever; and the feud of the Capulet and Montague families ended. Though true love ended up killing them, Romeo and Juliet made the right choice in picking love over their families because their families were not very loyal in encouraging them making their own choices and having their own life to live and fall in love with whoever they choose.

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