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In this coursework I will be looking at who is to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death. In this play I think there are many characters responsible for their death. I will be looking at some of these characters and find out why they are responsible. The very first characters that I think are to blame are the leaders of the house i. e. Lord Montague and Lord Capulet. Because of their old enmity between them did the fights occur between the two great families. Many a times they went to such extent where the fought with their swords even when the price warned them.
At the start of the play there was a street fight going on, the leaders of the families wanted to get engrossed so much in the fight that the Capulet says in Act one scene one, ” my sword, I say! Old Montague is come, and flourishes his blade in spite of me”. This quote just proves how eager the leaders are to fight and kill each other. It also shows the depth of their enmity. Another person to be blamed is Prince Escalus. Many readers may thing that the prince did the right and fair judgement by banishing Romeo from Verona.
If this issue is looked in depth than we can see the prince made this judgement because he wanted Count Paris to marry Juliet as the prince was related to him. So in other words this is a favour done by the prince on Count Paris. This could be proven by the fact that when Romeo is banished, Count Paris spends more time with Juliet even though she dislikes it. This is shown in Act four, Scene one when Count Paris says, “… on Thursday early will I raise you. Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss”.
This shows Count Paris spending more time in Romeo’s absence even though Juliet dislikes it. To my knowledge, I think the nurse is to blame as well. Although seem may seem very innocent and had been working for the Capulets for a long time. She knew it crystal clear about the enmity between the 2 families yet she tries to bring them together. It was her wrong inspiration in thinking that by bringing Romeo and Juliet together the enmity between the two families will be resolved. It’s shown in Act two, scene five that how the nurse tries to bring the lovers’ together.
She asks, “Have you got leave to go to shrift today? ” this quote shows how encouraging she is to get the lovers’ together. Therefore due to her wrong inspiration she increased the enmity rather than decreasing it and this led to the lovers’ death. Once again to my understanding, I think the monk, Friar Lawrence is also to be blamed. He had a master plan to reveal all the truth about Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Part of the plan was to make Juliet partially dead (48 hours) and send a letter to Romeo to inform him about the plan at the same time.
Unfortunately for the monk, the second part of the plan did not work out as the letter didn’t reach the Romeo. So now Romeo assumes that Juliet’s dead and therefore he killed himself. In relation to the monk’s blame comes ‘fate’. It may be the fate that led the plan out of control. All these fights and quarrels wouldn’t happen if the letter had reached Romeo. And therefore I wouldn’t totally blame the monk because of the fact that fate was not with him and so he was unlucky but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t blame him. Only if he had planned everything carefully all this wouldn’t happen.
As I had said earlier on that many characters are to be blamed but most importantly I think that the leaders of the families i. e. lord Capulet and lord Montague are the primary suspects. The reason being is that they didn’t think of peace as well as the future of their youngsters. I particularly blame Lord Capulet because of his ‘patriarchy’. He was so much conceived about his own public image than with Juliet’s happiness. This patriarchy is seen in Act three, scene four where Lord Capulet says, “… To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church, Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither”.
This quote shows how cruel the Capulet is just to save his honour. However I think that the devil behind this is Prince Escalus. Although he did try to create peace between the two families in Verona. But the point where he went wrong was when he made the wrong judgement when he banished Romeo. This banishment turned almost everyone against Romeo in Verona. Escalus was greedy with his decision because he wanted Count Paris to marry Juliet as they are related. Therefore I think that the leaders of the family and the prince are to be blamed over all the suspects mentioned above.