Fate in Romeo and Juliet
“Two households, both alike in dignity, / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, / From
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth with their death bury their parent’s
strife. / The fearful passage of their death-marked love, / And the continuance of their
parent’s rage, / Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove?” -The Prologue,
event takes its place.
In the play, there are many pieces of evidence that further present the prologue’s sad
foretold reality. Even as early as the first scene of the play, we already see some
evidence to back up the prologue. “[Romeo]?And makes himself and artificial night.” (I,
is evidence of Romeo’s tragedy. In the first act, Romeo is introduced. His great sadness
mood we see how desperate he is for love. Romeo is in love with Juliet, which is the
this innocent love is the first step in a chain of events that lead to the fate driven
believes that Romeo is his sworn enemy.
Tybalt. This, by his voice, should be a Montague
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What, dares the slave
Come hither, covered with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honor of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold not a sin.
(I, vi, lines 54-59)
to show that he is not joking and that he is going to try and kill Romeo: “I will
withdraw; but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet; convert to bitt’rest gall.” (I, vi,
lines 91-92) The two families’ rage here is shown and also fate takes its slow coarse
and death is already foreshadowed. It is very important to emphasize at this point that
the love between Romeo and Juliet cannot exist because of the rage between the two
families. Fate is already taking its place. And this particular event, the first
acquaintance between Romeo and Juliet, has started the chain of tragic events that
shall eventually bring peace to the streets of Verona. Here is another passage which
underlines the effect of Romeo’s and Juliet’s deaths: “For this alliance may so happy
prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love.” Many times there are small
reminders between the lines, of the tragic fate that the play is heading towards. Such
one is this: “Friar. These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like
reality and its consequences. As tough as reality might be, it gets even worse for Juliet
and her Romeo. She has to marry Parris because her father wants her to do so. She
different intents with Romeo and Juliet. As Juliet is in despair, she confronts the Friar
Lawrence. They talk of how they shall not allow Juliet to marry Parris. Juliet, in a state
of madness, talks of horrible things, and convinces the Friar that she shall go to any
means in order to avoid being with Parris. Going back on the events, fate has played its
role many times. The quarrel between Tybalt and Mercutio is the aftermath of Romeo’s
appearance at the Capulet’s Ball. When Mercutio is slain by Tybalt, Romeo seeks
revenge, and in term, slays Tybalt. The tragic cycle of events is leaving Romeo no
choice but to flee Verona and live in the shadows until his name is forgotten and he is
able to go back. Much is happening while he is gone, and in the midst of all the chaos,
Juliet is in great depression, which brings us back to her talk with the Friar. Juliet’s
father is a large disappointment, and his practical view of Juliet’s marriage consumes
him and pushes his actions to extreme limits. He is so outraged at Juliet for not wanting
to marry Parris, he holds himself no more and speaks his true thoughts.
Or never after look me in the face.
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me!
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce though us blest
That God has lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her
Out on her, hilding!
(III, vi, lines 162-169)
stop the ageless war. It is not “a curse in having her”, but rather a blessing, which shall
prove to be a tragic one indeed. The most fate driven event in the tragedy of Romeo
and Juliet, must be the misunderstanding of Juliet’s death by the Romeo’s ambassador
and the inability of the messenger to deliver the Friar’s letter to Romeo.
Laurence. Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?
John. I could not send it – here it is again-
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they if infection.
Laurence. Unhappy fortune!?
(VI, ii, lines 13-17)
Here it is seen how fate has misguided the letter and Romeo had no way of knowing
death. He does not want to live, if he cannot have Juliet. “Romeo. Well Juliet, I will lie
with thee to-night.” (VI, I, 34) If only he would have known of the true state of Juliet,
he would not go to such extreme measures. What he does not know is that Juliet is
artificially asleep, and awaits his return. This information is concealed in the letter, but
as one can see from John’s lines, the letter does not find its way to Romeo. The prince
finally sees how fate played a major role in Romeo’s and Juliet’s deaths. And in between
love.” (VI, iii, 293)
As the play progresses, Romeo and Juliet, uncover their tragic fate. From the moment
they meet to the moment they die, they knew their love was forbidden and could not
survive in their reality.
Juliet. My only love, sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unkown, and unkown too late!
Prodigious birth of love is to me
That I must love a loathed enemy.
(I, vi, lines 139-142)
The first time Juliet meets Romeo and falls in love with him, she finds out he is of the
house of Montagues, and realizes how impossible their love is. Romeo is hot with fire
and sees no limits to his love, and as at the end of the play he does, he talks of suicide
and death as opposed to living without Juliet.
My life is better ended by their hate
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
(II, ii, lines 77-78)
And his love knows no limit:
Romeo. With love’s light wings did I o’erperch
For Stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do, that dares love attempt.
(II, ii, lines 66-68)
After Romeo kills Tybalt he shouts, “O, I am fortune’s fool!” (III,I, 134) Here Romeo
everything that has happened to him after he met Juliet was not in his favor. Fate is so
strong that it works within the characters, and Juliet says “If all else fail, myself have
power to die.” (III, vi, 244) , once she sees how all the events lead to a tragic end.
The rivalry between the two families is first introduced in the prologue and continues
until the very end of the play before the death of the two lovers. In the first act the
set to stop the war between the two houses, therefore it is important to understand
what is the motive behind Romeo and Juliet’s deaths from the prospective of fate. Many
times in the play the two families have to confront each other in uncomfortable
situations. Their first encounter that is seen in the play is after the prince has come to
stop the chaos on the streets after being told of the quarrels going between the two
families. Montague is all fired up after seeing Capulet’s men, and so is Capulet after
Capulet. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Montague. Thou villain Capulet! – Hold me not, let me go.
(I, i, 75-77)
And so their hate continues to exist. Even after Tybalt is dead, and Mercutio lies beside
him. The Capulet’s wife is not any better than her husband. After she sees Tybalt slain,
she asks the Prince to punish Romeo, even though she is not certain how this tragic
event came to be. Only at the end of the play, after their children’s death do they
realize how unjustifiable their hatred was, and how meaningless it was to pursue their
ancestors sins towards one another.
Montague. There shall no figure at such rate beset
As that of true and faithful Juliet.
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!
(V, iii, 302-304)
put everything behind and honor each others child, for being messengers of love driven
by fate to stop the cycle of hatred.
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
(v, iii, 293)
The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is fate driven. All the events that happen in the play
lead to one major event, for which the play is said to be tragic, in which for most part
fate plays a large role. Both destined lovers realize their love cannot be pure and
simple, and that no matter what they do, it will be tragic. The two families, who’s strife
can only be stopped by the predetermined love of their offspring, seize the hatred
Romeo and Juliet by Shakspere