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Who or what is responsible for Romeo and Julietís death? Free essay! Download now

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Who or what is responsible for Romeo and Julietís death?

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1800 | Submitted: 11-May-2009
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Who or what is responsible for Romeo and Julietís death?


Fate is a key factor responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Fate succeeds in stopping Romeo and Juliet from being together and is arguably the main reason why they died. The prologue explains that their destiny isn’t to be together and that nothing can stop the family feud apart from their deaths, “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife”. The Chorus’ remark that Romeo and Juliet are “star-crossed” and fated to “take their lives” informs the audience that the lovers are destined to die tragically and stop the family feud. Stars were thought to control people’s destinies. But the Prologue itself creates this sense of fate by providing the audience with the knowledge that Romeo and Juliet will die even before the play has begun.

Mercutio’s curse is another factor which builds up to their fate, “I am hurt. A plague o' both your houses! I am sped. Is he gone and hath nothing?” Mercutio mutters this as he’s dieing, cursing the families whose rivalry led to his death. This is a vital quote from the play because this brings Romeo and Juliet closer to their death. However, one can easily argue that Mercutio holds full responsibility for this incident because he challenged Tybalt to a fight despite Tybalt not wanting to fight with him. Had Mercutio acted with more sense, then it is conceivable that Tybalt would have simply left the scene, and Mercutio would have stayed alive. Others would argue that Tybalt wouldn’t have left until he got his revenge and that Romeo is to blame for the death of Mercutio because he got in the way. This leaves the audience guessing what would have happened if Mercutio stayed out of it. Either way, the death of Mercutio is an indirect factor for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths, and his curse reiterates the sense of fate and inevitability about it.

The family feud between the Capulets and Montagues is a major catalyst for Romeo and Juliet’s death. It was the family feud which stopped them from being together in the first place. If the families weren’t feuding, Romeo and Juliet would’ve had no problem staying together and they could’ve easily told their families about how they felt about each other. The social boundaries that Romeo and Juliet faced, was from the start a major factor. It is the feud which forces them to take drastic actions such as, in the case of Juliet, faking her own death, out of fear that their families would never accept them as one. Therefore, the family rivalry can be seen as the starting point behind many of the factors which lead up to their deaths – the plan of Friar Lawrence was only necessary to allow them to be together because of the family feud. It is ironic that the family feud only ends after the most innocent member of each family dies; their unbreaking love for each other causes the families to open their eyes. The two of them can be seen as the sacrifice needed to bring this about; their destinies from the start are predetermined to this cause.

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