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Romeo and Juliet: Final Assessment - Who’s Most Responsible?

Paper type: Assessment
Pages: 4 (964 words)
Categories: Literature, Marriage, Plays, Romeo And Juliet, Shakespeare Tragedies, Society, Suicide
Downloads: 14
Views: 445

In the tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, there are a lot of key events and misfortunes that occur and change the course of the play. However, although some might say that Friar Lawrence is to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, it is, in reality, because of Romeo’s impulsive, rash, and poor decision-making for why he is the most responsible for the tragedy. Throughout the whole story, Friar Lawrence holds some responsibility for the tragedy of the couple like when he marries the two of them knowing that they have only known each other for a short time.

However, after thinking about it, his intentions of marrying Romeo and Juliet were to bring the families together and he even warns Romeo that his decision may be too rash when he says, “These violent delights have violent ends.” (2.6, 9) The Friar warns Romeo that his rapidly growing emotional love for Juliet may have a sudden end meaning that maybe he should take the marriage slow; however, Romeo pushes on for the marriage to happen.

Furthermore, when some say that Friar Lawrence is to blame for concocting the potion for Juliet, he had no other option do so.

Juliet, very desperate and on the verge of suicide, forces Friar Lawrence to think of a plan for her saying, “Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it. If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, do thou but call my resolution wise, and with this knife I’ll help it presently. (Shows him a knife)” (4.1, 52-55) Therefore, Friar Lawrence had to help Juliet out or else she would kill herself. He only helped her by giving more time to her life. Lastly, although the Friar’s plan of sending a letter to Romeo did not work, it is not completely his fault because the banishment of Romeo to Mantua is Romeo’s fault. There was nothing the Friar could do to prevent the plague from occurring in Mantua, and even if he had delivered the message to Romeo, himself, he may not have even been able to get the letter delivered to Romeo either.

Throughout the whole play, Romeo makes many impulsive and poor decisions that cause many unfortunate events to occur. He, himself, is responsible for the deaths of Tybalt, Paris, Mercutio, himself, and ironically, the death of Juliet too. At the start of the book, Romeo believes that he is in love with Rosaline, yet he agrees to go to his rival family’s party to meet girls. By the time he leaves, he has met, kissed, and fallen in love with Juliet. Driven by his “love” for Juliet, he visits Juliet at night and says, “Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet, and I am proof against their enmity.” (2.2, 71-73) despite the fact that they are sworn enemies and if they are caught together, their families may go to war. He flirtatiously says that he is more afraid of her being angry towards him than twenty of her relatives with swords, and continues by saying he’s invincible if he looks at her kindly enough.

This shows his recklessness because he does not care for his own well being and is being careless about the situation. When he decides he wants to marry her after only knowing her a few days, he never even considered the possible consequences or other options. He simply wants his wish fulfilled. He is rash because he wants to rush into a marriage for which he is not ready. As if he did not make enough bad decisions before he decides to marry Juliet mere days after meeting her, he brags about his love for Tybalt once he is married. Knowing that Tybalt did not know about his marriage to Juliet, he continues his rant of his love to Tybalt. Conversely, Tybalt sees his remarks as sarcasm and insulting to him because he doesn’t know what’s happening. Tybalt becomes enraged and engages in a battle with Mercutio and when Mercutio dies, Romeo had the opportunity to tell someone that Mercutio has been murdered, leave the situation, but instead is deeply angered and unable to control his emotions.

He angrily states toward Tybalt, “Away to heaven, respective lenity, and fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.” (3.1, 85-86) He says that he is going to stop being merciful and infatuated with Tybalt, and declares that rage will guide his actions. From there, he decides to go after Tybalt and kill him. After being banished to Mantua, Romeo hears from his servant, Balthasar, that Juliet is dead. Without even questioning Balthasar’s sources, he orders Balthasar to “hire post-horses.” And says, “I will hence tonight.” (5.1, 27) He says he’s going to leave for Verona tonight thinking Juliet is dead. This decision shows that he was being rash and impulsive, and to add insult to injury, Romeo makes arguably the worst decision in the book, to go buy poison and die next to Juliet.

When he makes another bad decision by breaking into the tomb and even coming back to Verona, he encounters Paris. Romeo duels Paris and slays him not even realizing whom he just fought and killed showing his haste and ill-witted thinking. Finally, although Friar Lawrence certainly holds some part in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, it is, ultimately Romeo’s fault for the death of the couple. Had he not been too rash and made better decisions, he could have possibly united the families together and perhaps maybe even could have had a family with Juliet. This story shows that love never dies a natural death. It dies because individuals don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals.

Cite this essay

Romeo and Juliet: Final Assessment – Who’s Most Responsible?. (2017, Jan 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/romeo-and-juliet-final-assessment-whos-most-responsible-essay

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